Scientists Create Software That Replicates Human Handwriting

Posted: Aug 13 2016, 9:17am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 13 2016, 10:02am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 

Scientists Create Software that Replicates Human Handwriting
Credit: University College London
 

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New computer program mimics an individuals' handwriting style with great precision

Everyone has his own unique writing style and replicating this style is extremely difficult for others.

Now, researchers from University College London have created a computer program that can analyze handwriting of any individual and replicate it accurately. 

The new system, named “My Text in Your Handwriting,” has the ability to scan a person’s writing sample and generating the same text or an altogether new one as per desire while maintaining that specific writing style. The writing sample can be as little as one paragraph.

"Our software has lots of valuable applications. Stroke victims, for example, may be able to formulate letters without the concern of illegibility, or someone sending flowers as a gift could include a handwritten note without even going into the florist. It could also be used in comic books where a piece of handwritten text can be translated into different languages without losing the author's original style.” Lead author Dr Tom Haines from University College London said in a statement.

For generating a specific handwriting style, software takes into account several aspects like character choices, movement of the pen, joining up between letters and spacing between the words. The most remarkable thing about new program is that it can pick author’s text character with accurate style and size which was otherwise not possible with preexisting software of such kind.

“Up until now, the only way to produce computer-generated text that resembles a specific person's handwriting would be to use a relevant font. The problem with such fonts is that it is often clear that the text has not been penned by hand, which loses the character and personal touch of a handwritten piece of text,” said co-author, Dr Oisin Mac Aodha.

“What we’ve developed removes this problem and so could be used in a wide variety of commercial and personal circumstances.”  

To test how realistic the software generated handwriting was, researchers asked people to identify handwritten envelopes and the ones created by their automatic software.  People picked the fake handwriting over the real one 40 percent of the times, suggesting software was able to fool people to a great extent.

Where the software offers many benefits, it can also lead to illegal work such as forging documents or duplicating signatures on important papers and this could result in serious repercussions. But researchers believe the software can be utilized both in good and bad ways like any other thing existing in the world. It’s up to every individual to use the tools reasonably.

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The Author


Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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