Dr Evan Shellshear is an expert on artificial intelligence. Picture: Richard Gosling/AAP
Dr Evan Shellshear is an expert on artificial intelligence. Picture: Richard Gosling/AAP

Want to remove yourself from CCTV? Here's how

THE frightening world of Mission Impossible has become possible with free, simple code available on the internet that lets you remove yourself from CCTV in real time, make seamless and convincing fake version of other people dance, jump, even frame them for murder, and turn a five second sound bite into them saying anything.

Brisbane mathematician Dr Evan Shellshear said we should not be scared of the technology, but people need to be less credulous when presented with proof from the digital world.

Dr Shellshear, who is expected to speak as part of the QODE Brisbane event next week, said artificial intelligence and the mathematics that it relied on were speeding up as computing power increased and open-source improvements were being worked on and released faster and faster.

Where real-time removal of people from CCTV had once been the realm of Hollywood blockbusters, it is now advertised freely on YouTube.

Dr Shellshear, who is part of Brisbane's world-leading business optimisation firm Biarri, said people usually asked him why such technology had been created and then released.

Most developers who went public with the technology wanted to raise public awareness of its existence.

With the technology genie being impossible to put back in its bottle, modern society was better off armed with the knowledge of what was possible, he said.

But similar mathematical technology could be used for good, including during the current coronavirus pandemic, Dr Shellshear said.

"These technologies are not sci-fi," Dr Shellshear said.

"These technologies are things that we can use and the same ideas that we apply to remove people from CCTV we apply in other industries to optimise patients into theatre slots or we will use to predict presentations at emergency departments of coronavirus patients."

The Courier-Mail's Innovation Queensland series, in partnership with QODE Brisbane, will showcase bright ideas and innovations emerging in the Sunshine State.

QODE Brisbane, Queensland's largest innovation and technology conference, is on March 24-25. Organisers are awaiting direction from the Queensland Government as it manages the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Removing people from videos: https://youtu.be/0LqEuc32uTc

2. Real time overlaying of movements in videos of things that people never did: https://youtu.be/PCBTZh41Ris?t=135

3. 5 seconds of recordings is all that is required to fake someone's voice. This makes Deepfakes much easier to create: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sR1rU3gLzQ& t=78s

4. Controlling someone's body in a video with a game controller: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1904.08379.pdf