New Algorithm is a Lot Like the “Enhance!” Feature in “CSI”

VICTOR TANGERMANN / June 13th 2020


Researchers at Duke University have developed an algorithm that can upsample a detailed computer-generated portrait of a human face from a heavily pixelated version. It’s strikingly similar to the much-memed “Enhance!” tool from TV crime dramas like “CSI,” which can seemingly pull information out of thin air.

The researchers’ AI, dubbed PULSE (Self-Supervised Photo Upsampling via Latent Space Exploration of Generative Models), can generate photorealistic images of faces that are 64 times the resolution of the source image. For instance, a heavily pixelated 16×16-pixel image of a face can be converted into a 1024 x 1024 pixel image.

“Never have super-resolution images been created at this resolution before with this much detail,” Duke computer scientist Cynthia Rudin, the lead researcher on the project, said in a statement.