Microsoft introduced Project Murphy, a hilarious new website to swap and combine faces, at today’s Microsoft Build 2016 developer conference. It’s the face-swapping craze taken to its most hilarious inevitable conclusion.
It’s still showing a “Coming Soon” message, with the promise that it will go up very soon. But I got to play with it on the Microsoft Build show floor before the official announcement.
Project Murphy is billed as “the robot with imagination.” With a keyboard or your microphone, you can ask it to imagine the combination of two things, and it will do its best to answer in the form of a robotically-made composite image, sourced from Bing Image Search.
Best of all, Project Murphy works on real people, with your phone or PC’s camera.
Here’s its response to “What if I were a superhero,” starring me:
In an attempt to stump Project Murphy, I also asked “What if I were Martina Stoessel,” Disney Channel international star:
It quickly becomes addictive, trying to find new and ever-funnier monstrosities to have Project Murphy create for you. Here’s “What if Donald Trump were Hillary Clinton?” And, uh, apologies in advance:
Or “What if Bill Gates were Steve Jobs?”
It can even go a little esoteric with stuff like “What if Donald Trump were on Mount Rushmore?”
Behind the scenes, Microsoft is using its cognitive services for image recognition and language comprehension to provide ever-smarter responses. It’s actually a Skype bot under the hood.
In a kind of cool but kind of creepy move, Project Murphy actually uses the look on your face when you see the result to judge if it did a good job or not so it can improve. The mood of the little robot depends on your reaction.
This is from the same team that did last year’s viral sensation How-Old.net, who were tasked by Satya Nadella himself with making something even cooler for the 2016 conference. Judging from how much fun I had in just twenty minutes of tooling around with Project Murphy, it looks like they have succeeded.