Perceptual and computational detection of face morphing

Nightingale, Sophie J and Agarwal, Shruti and Farid, Hany (2021) Perceptual and computational detection of face morphing. Journal of Vision, 21 (3). pp. 1-18. ISSN 1534-7362

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A relatively new type of identity theft uses morphed facial images in identification documents in which images of two individuals are digitally blended to create an image that maintains a likeness to each of the original identities. We created a set of high-quality digital morphs from passport-style photos for a diverse set of people across gender, race, and age. We then examine people’s ability to detect facial morphing both in terms of determining if two side-by-side faces are of the same individual or not and in terms of identifying if a face is the result of digital morphing. We show that human participants struggle at both tasks. Even modern machine-learning-based facial recognition struggles to distinguish between an individual and their morphed version. We conclude with a hopeful note, describing a computational technique that holds some promise in recognizing that one facial image is a morphed version of another.

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Journal Article
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Journal of Vision
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Deposited On:
13 Apr 2021 14:15
Last Modified:
19 Sep 2023 02:36