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Opinion

TikTok’s new AI-generated filter ‘Bold Glamour’ is dangerous

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Jordan Reid

Author; Founding Editor, Ramshackle Glam

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If you haven’t heard of “Bold Glamour” yet, you will. TikTok’s new special effects app was released last month and has been downloaded more than 16 million times. With the tap of TikTok’s “effects” button, users see their faces instantly transform into what most would say is a more glamorous version of themselves. Using machine learning, the real-time app pumps up lips, tightens skin, airbrushes imperfections, and chisels cheekbones. And not surprisingly, it’s catching a lot of flak from parents, lawmakers, and psychologists.

Straight Arrow News contributor Jordan Reid asks: What happens when we can’t tell the difference online between what’s real and what’s not?

I’m a 41-year-old woman struggling with the same insecurities and inadequacies that I imagine most of us do. And this spins me out. Because this filter isn’t just [sic]…it’s not just what I could look like. It’s what I can look like so long as I only exist on your screen.

If you think my filtered face is what I look like, how disappointed would you be if you met the real me? And how disappointed do you think a habitual user of these filters feels when they look in the mirror and are confronted with the real, the worse version of themselves?

I’m a grown woman with a decent amount of therapy under my belt and it requires constant vigilance to keep this ever-present technology from assassinating my self-image. How in the world do we expect our children to navigate this landscape, especially given how rapidly the technology is advancing? In some dystopian future, do we all want to exist as avatars of ourselves just because it seems so much easier on the eyes?

The part that really worries me is that I’m pretty sure I know how this goes. This new technology scares the adults and excites the kids and everyone freaks out about it for a second — and then it makes a dump truck of money and nobody cares anymore about whether it’s good for us, and the technology continues apace.

So what to do? Follow the money. See who’s profiting from this, because plenty of people are, and hold them accountable.

I use Instagram every day, both for work and for, I guess some version of pleasure. It’s an important part of how I make a living. And I also use this as a sort of stashing ground for my favorite family images, which used to feel like it made sense, but now doesn’t exactly because increasingly, Instagram feels dangerous. I’m not saying that to be dramatic, or as clickbait I’m saying it because I feel it. Personally.

I will not permit my children to have Instagram or Snapchat or Tik Tok so long as they live under my roof. And I’m not very strict is apparent, and most people probably view this as hypocrisy. And I am okay with that.

There’s this new AI filter on tic tac that everybody tic tac tic tock that everybody’s been talking about. Which means there’s probably about to be a million more like it because that’s how capitalism works. The filter is called Bold glamour. And here’s why it’s different. A traditional filter maps out your face and overlays a sort of mesh that transforms it. But if you interrupt the real time image transmission like this, it no longer recognizes that 2d image of your face so it doesn’t know what to do with the information. And so it glitches revealing what’s behind the curtain so to speak.

But this new filter uses AI learning technology to map out the user’s face and alter their appearance. So realistically that the person can make like crazy facial expressions, they can you know, mush their face and move your hands across it, whatever, and the filter can roll with it. As a viewer you can’t tell it’s there.

I’m a 41 year old woman struggling with the same insecurities inadequacies that I imagine most of us do. And this spins me out. Because this filter isn’t just it’s not just what I could look like. It’s what I can look like. So long as I only exist on your screen.

If you think my filtered face is what I look like how, how disappointed would you be if you met the real me? And how disappointed Do you think a habitual user of these filters feels when they look in the mirror and are confronted with the real, the worse version of themselves? I haven’t grown woman with a decent amount of therapy under my belt and it requires constant vigilance to keep this ever present technology from assassinating my self image. How in the world do we expect our children to navigate this landscape? Especially given how rapidly the technology is advancing? In some dystopian future? Do we all want to exist as avatars of ourselves just because it seems so much easier on the eyes? The part that really worries me is that I’m pretty sure I know how this goes. This new technology scares the adults and excites the kids and everyone freaks out about it for a second and then it makes a dump truck of money and nobody cares anymore about whether it’s good for us and the technology continues apace. So what to do, follow the money. See who’s profiting from this because plenty of people are and hold them accountable.

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