a new AI-powered app called face depixelizer can turn pixelated images into high resolution pictures, just like it happens in sci-fi and crime-based movies. created by russian developer denis malimonov, the app uses StyleGAN, where the AI looks for pictures that, when downscaled, will resemble the original pixelated face.

face depixelizer, an AI-powered app that turns pixelated faces into realistic photos



the truth is that face depixelizer doesn’t magically depixelate a photo and reveal the actual person, but rather it can generate an alternative image where it finds a photo with a similar look and turns the pixelated image into a high-res, realistic one. once the app was released, users around the world started playing with the AI, which of course would show different results each time, even if the picture was the same. for example, twitter users showcased examples of how famous video game characters  — like luigi and mario — would look like.




however, other users started noticing how this AI tool was not accurate when it came to processing black faces. for example, when processing a pixelated picture of barack obama, face depixelizer turned him into a white man. and even if users continued to import different pixelated pictures of obama, the result was consistently wrong, meaning that these data and algorithms are mainly trained primarily with white faces, making them racially biased.




in his defense, malimanov said that the tool was not made to show what the pixelated image actually looks like, but actually just to find any face that fits. ‘this tool will not restore that original face,’ he commented on twitter. ‘it can help with the identification of facial features.’




project info:


name: face depixelizer

created by: denis malimonov