NVIDIA Eye Contact deemed 'creepy', 'terrifying'

Occurred: January 2023

An announcement by NVIDIA that it had added Eye Contact to its NVIDIA Broadcast livestreaming and video conferencing tool met with a mixed reaction. 

Eye Contact uses deep learning to make it appear like your webcam image is staring into the camera, even if you're looking away in real life - an effect achieved by replacing your eyes in the video stream with software-controlled simulated eyeballs with replicated eye colour and blink patterns that always stare directly into the camera.

While some commentators praised it for its ability to fool people into thinking you are constantly paying attention and looking into the camera, others reckon it is 'unnnatural', 'creepy' and 'terrifying'.

Tom's Hardware journalist Jarred Walton questioned whether Eye Contact is needed. 'If you want to look like you're looking at the camera, you should probably learn to look... at the camera,' he pointed out.

Operator: NVIDIA
Developer: NVIDIA
Country: USA; Global
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Mimic eye retina
Technology: Computer vision; Deep learning; Gaze redirection algorithm
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Appropriateness/need; Dual/multi-use

Page info
Type: Issue
Published: January 2023