Photo editing app shows how users would look like in 'India', 'Europe', 'Africa'; criticised
Photo editing app Gradient's feature, called AI Face, supposedly allows users to "find out how you would look if you were born on a different continent". Many social media users have questioned the app's intentions and expressed outrage over the feature.
Photo editing app Gradient is under fire for a feature that lets people alter their ethnicity in images. It morphs images showing how the users would look in "Europe", "Asia", "India" and "Africa".
The feature, called AI Face, supposedly allows users to "find out how you would look if you were born on a different continent," according to Gradient's website.
The website says, though the app's primary functionality appears to be the ability to morph skin colour and face shape. Several of the locations offered are countries, rather than continents, including Brazil and India.
The AI Face feature was promoted by US television personalities Scott Disick and Brody Jenner — known for their appearances on the reality show "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" — posting altered images on Twitter showing how they would look in "Europe," "Asia," "India" and "Africa." Some users also pointed out that India is part of Asia.
Disick also posted a similar image on his Instagram account, but disabled the comments. In a tweet, Disick showed his face adjusted by filters for Europe, Asia, and India, and asked, "Which one is better?"
A post shared by Scott Disick (@letthelordbewithyou) on
Jenner used the app to show his face adjusted by filters for Africa, Asia, and India. "You need to try this new feature in the gradient app," he said.
Many social media users questioned the app's intentions and expressed outrage in response to the tweets, slamming Jenner and Disick as "racist" and denouncing their promotion of "blackface." Both Disick and Jenner later deleted their posts.
Gradient describes itself as "the next big thing in the world of mobile photo editing," and names as its founders Vladyslav Urazov and Bogdan Matveev, whom the website describes as "artificial intelligence and machine learning enthusiasts."
Other features on the app allow users to test which celebrity they look like, what animal they look like, and turn themselves into portraits. The app also touts a feature called "Ethnicity Estimate," which purports to use artificial intelligence to analyze someone's photo and calculate their ancestry.
"Simply upload your photo and our exceptionally accurate algorithm will analyze features of your face and tell your ethnic background," the website says.