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New AI Tool ‘DisCo’ Turns Still Images into a Dancing Video

New AI Tool 'DisCo' Turns Still Images into a Dancing Video

A new AI model known as DisCo can now turn still pictures of a human into a dancing video, allowing users to create videos without any choreography practiced.

The tool, the result of a collaboration between Microsoft researchers and scientists from the Nanyang Tech University of Singapore, was trained on 700, 000 dance moves from TikTok.

New AI Tool 'DisCo' Turns Still Images into a Dancing Video
Stills from this video.

The model’s full name is called ‘Disentangled Control for Referring Human Dance Generation in Real World (DisCo).’ According to New Scientist, the AI technology can split an image into three parts: the background, the foreground and the pose of the person in the shot.

Elon Musk dances the DisCo way

Nanyang Technological University lead scientist Tan Wang said that DisCo can transform a person in a photograph into a series of different poses, which can then be compiled into a video that looks like the person is actually dancing.

“With these things, you can try to compose anything you want. If you want Elon Musk to dance, you can just use our [code],” Wang said.

The AI was trained on a variety of data so that it could learn how to create realistic dance videos. As already mentioned, much of the data was sourced from the popular short-video-sharing app TikTok, using images that do not show any specific people or dances.

Per the New Scientist report, the TikTok training allowed DisCo to learn about different poses and how to distinguish between the foreground (the person) and the background. DisCo was further trained on a smaller dataset of dance videos of between 10 to 15 seconds each.

Wang said the extra training gave the AI model a more exact understanding of how people move while dancing. He added that DisCo scored higher on measures of realism compared to other rival models offered by the likes of Google.

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Fake content

According to BGR, DisCo may access one’s videos posted on TikTok and use information from those clips to animate a static image without anyone ever noticing the AI had access to the TikTok videos.

It, therefore, follows that the AI tool can help users create dance videos without learning any new choreography, thus allowing users to create and post “fake content.”

The AI tool may be instrumental in helping users “preview complex choreographies for shows that involve actual humans.”

“You could see what a dance routine looks like before you start practicing it. That AI would show you how and when to move your body,” said BGR.

Further advancements in the tool and others with similar functionalities may be an added advantage for the film industry according to BGR. DisCo can therefore be used by studios to add dance routines to movies and films without hiring actual humans for that. This is one of the bones of contention with the obtaining strike in Hollywood by actors and writers.

Studios in Hollywood put forward plans to use AI in place of real humans in their productions, something that did not go down well with the stars, igniting a massive strike, the biggest since 1960.

By leveraging AI, studios have proposed to scan and store images of background actors for use in future productions, which is one of the cases actors and stars are holding against studios.


Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.