"Creepy" AI makes sure that your eyes always look at the camera

Nvidia Broadcast adds AI Eye contact
(Image credit: Nvidia)

Ever been frustrated that someone's eyes are looking away from the camera instead of towards it? Well, this clever new AI ensures that subjects are always making eye contact directly into the camera – even when they're not.

The AI tech is featured in Nvidia Broadcast, an app for webcams and streaming that is freaking people out with its latest update. Using artificial intelligence, it creates the illusion that your eyes are always looking at the camera by replacing them with computer-generated ones. 

• Looking for the best webcams (opens in new tab) or the best cameras for streaming (opens in new tab)

Other features rely on AI to remove the entire background of your webcam feed, enhance the footage quality by removing visual noise, and that can even track your head movement to automatically crop and zoom the frame.

Watch video: Nvidia Broadcast's freaky AI eye replacement

What really has people talking about Nvidia Broadcast (opens in new tab), though, is the AI Eye Contact features (currently in beta) that essentially work by replacing your eyes with "simulated" fake ones that are aligned perfectly with your camera. As you can see in the video above, while this might sound pretty great in theory, the results produced are almost unnerving and can make it appear as if the person on-camera isn't blinking at all. 

One Twitch streamer (opens in new tab), 1030, has garnered attention by showing the results of the AI feature in practice, and other gamers weren't impressed at all, labeling it as "creepy" and with one user stating "this unbroken eye contact is intoxicating". The effect is achieved by an AI that is estimating and aligning the gaze, although users claim it's not always accurate.

"The eyes retain their natural color and blinks, and there’s even a disconnect feature in case you look too far away, to transition smoothly between simulated and real eyes," says Nvidia (opens in new tab).  

"Eye Contact is ideal for content creators seeking to record themselves while reading their notes or a script, or avoiding having to stare directly at the camera. Video conference presenters will look at the eyes of the person they’re speaking with, improving engagement with their audiences."

While the new feature is a little buggy, it's impressive for something that's still in beta testing, and the company is urging the community to help by reporting issues and experimenting with eye color and lighting combinations to determine what works. 

(Image credit: Nvidia)
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In order to try this out for yourself, you'll need to download Nvidia Broadcast (opens in new tab)onto your devices, but note that you will need to be using an Nvidia RTX GPU for it to work – specifically an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card, Quadro RTX 3000, Titan RTX, or even better models. 

These GPUs are fitted with dedicated AI processors called Tensor Cores, which are able to run high-quality effects in real-time, and even multiple AI effects at once that can be used simultaneously for greater control over audio and video output. 

What do you think of this AI live-streaming feature? Let us know!

• You may also be interested in the best AI image generators (opens in new tab) as well as the best noise-reduction software (opens in new tab). Take a look at the best 4K webcams (opens in new tab), plus the best budget webcams (opens in new tab) and you might even need one of the best video switchers for live streaming (opens in new tab) to enhance your content. 

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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.