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Have you tried out the Lensa app?

I couldn't resist - and, yes, I am concerned about sharing my data!

Here are a few of the ones it created for me 👇🏼

Lensa clearly prefers when my hair was long as all 50 of the images created have long hair even though I loaded several with shorter hair.

I can’t help but wonder if this surfaces a human bias - based on the artists’ work training data that it was fed - of a gendered and cultural beauty standard bias.

Don’t get me wrong, the pictures are fun and I’m certainly not offended. I like this example because it helps people to literally see how human bias in data, completely unintended, impacts the outcomes created.

If you haven't heard about Lensa - let me share some tidbits:

What is it

🔹Lensa is a photo app that uses artificial intelligence to generate digital portraits in anime style, known as "magic avatars," based on photos you submit. (It requires 10-20 photos.)

🔹Based on data from Statista, app downloads have climbed from less than a million in October 2022 to way over 5 million as of Dec. 8, 2022.

🔹The app is a product of Prisma, which first gained popularity in 2016 for its function that allowed users to transform their selfies into images in the style of famous artists.


🔹Instagram has removed posts featuring these avatars due to copyright concerns.

🔹Some artists are concerned about AI generators as they worry about their income being affected and their work being stolen to feed the neural networks. In some cases, AI generators have been used to create images in particular artists' styles without their consent or payment.

🔹The potential impact on society of allowing AI to study and learn from individuals' face data, including the possibility of the AI drawing conclusions based on racial nuances.

🔹The app alters skin tone or body shape and sometimes produces sexualized images of women, even when fully clothed pictures were submitted.

🔹The use of Apple's TrueDepth API gives facial recognition quality data about every user's face to the app maker. 🤯

Company Position

🔹The app's privacy policy and terms of use state that the "face data" submitted by users to generate the selfies can be used by Prisma AI, the company behind Lensa, to train its artificial neural network. This face data includes information about the position, orientation, and topology of the face, and is harvested using Apple's TrueDepth API.

What do you think? Are you going to try it out?

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