Jason Mayes, a web engineer at Google, created a tool to provide some privacy from all the little cameras in your life. Disappearing-People is a browser program that uses AI to recognize people and erase them in real time, Motherboard reports. The program is a little glitchy, often yielding artifacts here and there, but anything identifying about the person remains obscured.
How does it work? — Disappearing-People uses Google’s TensorFlow, a machine learning and neural network-focused, open-source program. The browser tool learns the layout of the room and scans for human features. If it detects a person, it puts an image block of what that area of the room looked like without the person in it.
Mayes’s test is fairly smooth, but you can still see some artifacts in certain spots. Fast movement will generally expose you, and hair — absent a face (re: turning or bending over) — seems to trip it up as well. Though the experience isn’t seamless, the program is an innovative way to not worry about your webcam.
As Gizmodo pointed out, the application could also help filmmakers edit out puppeteers. If it were refined to include localization, it could also be used to remove crew from shots or even disgraced actors.