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Facebook Develops VR Avatars with Real-time Interactivity

The Facebook team will demonstrate their VR real-time facial animation system at “SIGGRAPH 2019”, which is set to be held in Los Angeles between July 28-August 1

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FILE - A 3D printed Facebook logo is seen in front of a displayed Russian flag in this photo illustration, Aug. 3, 2018. VOA

In a bid to make virtual reality (VR) experience highly believable, researchers from Facebook Reality Labs (FRL) have developed a revolutionary system called “Codec Avatars” that gives VR users ability to interact with others while representing themselves with life-like avatars precisely animated in real-time.

“Our work demonstrates that it is possible to precisely animate photorealistic avatars from cameras closely mounted on a VR headset,” said the study’s lead author Shih-En Wei, a research scientist at Facebook.

The researchers have configured a headset with minimum sensors for facial capture and their system enables two-way, authentic social interaction in VR.

The team said the VR system can animate avatar heads with highly detailed personal likeness by precisely tracking users’ real-time facial expressions using a minimum set of headset-mounted cameras (HMC).

“By comparing these converted images using every pixel–not just sparse facial features–and the renderings of the 3D avatar,” noted Wei.

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A visitor of Rome’s Circus Maximus is seen with a virtual reality visor. VOA

“we can precisely map between the images from tracking headset and the status of the 3D avatar through differentiable rendering. After the mapping is established, we train a neural network to predict face parameter from a minimal set of camera images in real time,” Wei added.

Besides animating the avatars in VR, Facebook’s team is also building systems that may enable people to quickly and easily create their avatars from just a few images or videos.

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The Facebook team will demonstrate their VR real-time facial animation system at “SIGGRAPH 2019”, which is set to be held in Los Angeles between July 28-August 1.

The researchers will present an Artificial Intelligence (AI) technique based on Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) that performs consistent multi-view image style translation to automatically convert HMC infrared images to images that look like a rendered avatar but with the same facial expression of the VR user. (IANS)

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Zoom Raiders Use Social Media Platforms Like Instagram, Twitter To Organise Campaigns

Teenagers running those accounts told the news outlet that they found Zoomraiding a way to escape completing school work

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Twitter is also reportedly looking at how it can deal with the issue. Pixabay

As more classes go online with video meeting app Zoom due to the COVID-19 restrictions, bad actors are making use of social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter to organise harassment campaigns, or what has come to be known as “Zoomraiding” or “Zoombombing”, the media reported.

There are several accounts on Instagram and Twitter asking people to share Zoom meeting codes so that they can raid those video conferences or classes organised through the app, CNET reported on Friday. While Instagram is in the process of pulling down accounts that claim to offer Zoomraiding, the menace is far from over.

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“Zoomraiding” or “Zoombombing” has emerged as a new type of online harassment in which hate speech, pornography or other inappropriate content is suddenly flashed by disrupting a video call on Zoom. Twitter is also reportedly looking at how it can deal with the issue.

Zoom
As more classes go online with video meeting app Zoom due to the COVID-19 restrictions, bad actors are making use of social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter to organise harassment campaigns, or what has come to be known as “Zoomraiding” or “Zoombombing”. IANS

After The New York Times discovered 153 Instagram accounts created for Zoombombing, the Facebook-owned photo and video-sharing app on Friday said it was still in the process of pulling down accounts and hashtags used for Zoombombing.

Teenagers running those accounts told the news outlet that they found Zoomraiding a way to escape completing school work.

ALSO READ: Know About the Health Benefits of Being a Vegan

Zooms Founder and CEO Eric Yuan has apologized for the privacy and security issues being reported in his app that has seen a surge in usage globally as people work from home during lockdowns. (IANS)