Image credit : Facebook
The first augmented reality facial filters were available in 2015 for Snapchat users; they could give users doggy ears, devil horns, or the appearance that they were vomiting rainbows.
When the camera’s view of your face was obstructed by things like hair, spectacles, or rapid movement back then, the digital mask would malfunction.
Bold Glamour, a cosmetic filter for TikTok, can attest that augmented reality has advanced much further than that. Users have been covering their faces with their palms and pulling at their skin to demonstrate that this filter doesn’t glitch like the earlier versions did.
In a TikTok video, Luke Hurd, an augmented reality consultant who has worked on Instagram and Snapchat filters, described how the filter makes use of a form of AI known as a generative adversarial network.
“They take your image here of you, and they compare it to a dataset of other images, and then redraw your pixels, pixel by pixel, on the output of your camera feed,” Hurd said.
The mesh used by earlier filters merely covers the face rather than reconstructing it.
“It doesn’t glitch out the same way because there’s not a 3D model sitting in front of your face,” Hurd said. “It is the actual output of the camera feed — it’s not being overlaid in front of it.”
Bold Glamour improves face brightness, cheekbone definition, and lip plumpness. The effect has been used in more than 18.5 million recordings, and users are astounded by how realistic it appears.
According to Linda Charmaraman, a senior researcher at the Wellesley Centers for Women, filters like these promote inflated notions of beauty, which are “harmful to the self-worth of younger users, especially women.”
According to NPR, Renee Engeln, the director of Northwestern University’s Body and Media Lab, also provided a speech on the peril of Bold Glamour.
Many experts, however, are criticizing the filtration and claiming that it is detrimental to mental health.
“Your own face that you see in the mirror suddenly looks ugly to you,” she said. “It doesn’t look good enough. It looks like something you need to change.”