Turn your dancing into an AI-powered GIF with Google’s Move Mirror experiment

Amelia Heathman

With the fears around killer robots and threats to jobs, we can forget some of the fun and exciting aspects of artificial intelligence (AI).

That’s why Google has debuted a new experiment named Move Mirror to remind us that AI can be used in playful ways.

Move Mirror is all about exploring moving pictures and Google is asking you to get involved.

Simply launch up the Move Mirror webpage and turn your webcam on.

Then, move around in front of the webcam and the Move Mirror will match your real-time movements to hundreds of images of people doing similar movements around the globe.

The technology behind Move Mirror is taking the input from your camera feed and using it to search a database of more than 80,000 images to find the best match.

You can download your dancing as a GIF and share it to be part of the experiment.

Turn your dancing into a GIF with Google's Move Mirror (Google)

In a blog post, Google creative technologist Irene Alvarado, said: “It feels like a magical mirror that reflects your moves with images of all kinds of human activity – from sports and dance to martial arts, acting and beyond.”

And whilst the Google Move Mirror experiment is fun, it also serves a purpose. Alvarado explained that the project is about showing how computer vision techniques can be accessible to anyone with a computer and a webcam.

The technique involved in this experiment is called pose estimation. This is when the AI detects human figures in images and video so it can determine what's an elbow and where it is, for example.

Pose estimation can be useful for things like augmented reality and interactive installations that react to the body.

Google also hopes to make this kind of machine learning for accessible to coders and makers, and that they will be inspired by Move Mirror to experiment with pose estimation themselves.

In the meantime, you can get grooving and know that you’re helping the advancement of technology along the way.