Short video has become the main form of online entertainment for a growing number of netizens. As a platform enabling anyone anywhere to express themselves and share their lives with huge online communities, Short video has generated a thriving culture.
Artificial intelligence has penetrated into various areas of the short video ecosystem, but most visibly through technologies related to computer vision, face recognition, feature acquisition, image semantic segmentation and so on, which have helped creators build and present more diverse online personas.
Short video is well positioned to grab a piece of China’s growing online video industry market, which jumped from CN¥24.9 billion (US$3.5 billion) in 2014 to CN¥95.2 billion (US$13.5 billion) in 2017 and is expected to reach CN¥191.6 billion (US$27.1 billion) in 2020.
TIKTOK’S “HEAD CHANGE TECHNOLOGY”
TikTok is a Chinese video app for social media that launched globally in 2017. Designed as a creative tool, the app appeals to short video creators and hosts looking to present something very different. One feature is a head-changing technology that enables users to map their faces and expressions onto a virtual animal’s head in real time. The tool uses image semantic segmentation technologies to obtain various positions and labels for the face, which can be transferred using a simple “head change” button in the user interface.
KWAI’S “ANOTHER ONE OF YOU IN THE WORLD”
Kwai is a Singapore-based short video platform whose 700 million global users upload millions of original videos each day. A popular Kwai app takes a user-submitted portrait as input and searches for matches based on facial features to locate the user’s closest global doppelgangers. Seems this would be like looking for a needle in a haystack, but the process can be quite quick and effective.
The application extracts facial features and uses feature retrieval and big data technologies to identify other face images with the highest similarity. The app can also perform more fine-grained attribute analysis on the face images, looking for age, gender, expression and other attributes to further refine the selection process. This tech can also be used for example to identify lookalikes in oil paintings or other historic visual data.
Tech giant Tencent’s microvision app uses face detection, key point tracking and deep learning technologies to realize real-time tracking of facial key points and precise positioning of face features. The tech can realistically remodel the appearance of online video hosts, enabling detailed and diverse beautification adjustments such as wrinkles, V face, narrow face, eye distance, eye corner, thin nose, mouth type, etc. The user is able to fine-tune the facial features to present their desired image to the public.
FUTURE OF SHORT VIDEO
Short video creators and consumers alike are riding the breaking wave of computer vision and other AI-powered technologies. Face recognition will continue to play a big role as short video platforms develop functions to appeal to new target groups and provide more innovative, personalized and engaging content to users.
Face recognition technology however still has shortcomings in short video. Accuracy can be reduced by factors such as different expressions and facial angles, lighting, etc. There is also the issue of insufficient face and other data to meet requirements across less common scenarios.
Future applications of artificial intelligence in short video are expected to go far beyond today’s focus on face modification and optimization, and further into special effects assistance, music selection and production, recommendation systems tailored to user preferences, etc. The fierce competition in China’s growing short video market will also stimulate startups’ investments in artificial intelligence technologies to enable the innovations needed to gain an advantage.
Author: Haoni Li | Editor: Michael Sarazen