In order to pull off the effect with just one image, the neural networks rely on the huge dataset they are given, breaking down the images of real people into their features, codifying them, and re-using them to animate others. If you think a video made with one image doesn’t look quite as authentic as those made with multiple, not to worry—it won’t be long until the process is more refined.
It’s a common theme in sci-fi novels that if humans can do it, they will. As AI technology moves forward, “please consume responsibly” will be applicable for visuals, too, especially when the veracity of images presented as news becomes more unclear. But in art and visual culture, AI poses some intriguing possibilities for interactivity and identity, as well as the age-old search for truth. At the very least, thinking about all of the world’s famous paintings and photographs coming to life is just plain cool. Maybe the next digital influencer won’t be Lil’ Miquela
, but Venus de Milo.