Facebook is keenly interested in making video interesting and dissociate the words “simple” and “boring” from it. To do this, the company is working on a filter that lays the style of famous painters onto images and videos.
Making camera a “nice creative tool”
On Tuesday at a tech conference in Laguna Beach, California hosted by The Wall Street Journal, Chris Cox, Facebook’s head of product, demonstrated a prototype of the filter. A large screen on which a live feed of Cox’s smartphone camera was projected showed an edited version of the audience as he flipped through various filters, notes Fortune.
According to Cox, video will be 70% of all mobile traffic to sites like Facebook in the next five years. So for this reason, the company is making sure that its camera-related products do not fall behind, said Cox.
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“We’re making the camera a really nice creative tool and that’s the kind of thing we’re very invested in right now,” Cox said.
The filter that Cox demonstrated is based on a technology called “style transfer.” It requires a user to choose an artist such as Monet or Rembrandt and transfer a representation of the painter’s style onto any image, explained Cox. He added that the filter uses an artificial intelligence technique called “convolutional neutral nets” with computer vision technology.
Facebook investing big in video technology
In April, the social networking giant launched Facebook Live, which allows live video broadcasts to users. After the launch, the company wanted to ensure a steady flow of videos on its network; hence, it agreed to pay millions of dollars to at least 140 major publishers, public figures, celebrities and athletes to produce live broadcasts.
The company’s next aim is to drum up enthusiasm for live video among its users. For this, it is coming up with innovative features like this. Cox said that the filters he showcased allowed users to capture live video they will be proud of.
In an email to Fortune, a Facebook spokeswoman said that the filtering happens in real-time on the mobile device instead on a remote server. As per Cox, the social networking giant has made some crucial investment in this type of photo and video technology. Cox called it an early application of augmented reality.
As of now, it is not known when these features, which are still in the prototype phase, will be available to users.