Do you imagine yourself as an astronaut? AI can do it.
It seems you can’t open Facebook, Instagram or Twitter at the moment without being inundated with colorful illustration-style portraits of your friends.
Yes, art apps are really having a moment right now, and there’s one in particular that’s got everyone talking: Lensa AI.
The app uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to create avatars based on people’s selfies.
It comes with a ton of tools that users can use to touch up their selfies, and the finished products actually look as if a commissioned artist created the image.
The Lensa AI app itself isn’t new (it’s been around since 2018) but its “Magic Avatar” feature (these wacky illustrations) debuted on November 21st.
The app takes a few images of you before generating 50 self-portrait-style images — it can make you look like anything from a fairy or scientist to a full-blown superhero.
Lensa AI is free to download but costs £3.49 for 50 images, or a whopping £32.99 a year for full access to most of its filters.
The company isn’t the only one making money off AI avatars at the moment, though it’s one of the most popular.
But if you’ve been feeling like all of this is a little boom mom on Facebook and this is something a little weird, you’re not alone.
The Twitter art community has pointed out the problems with the app and others like it, claiming that low-budget AI art seeks to replace real-life artists and their work.
“AI art wouldn’t be able to work without us artists doing all the work to begin with. It’s just a bunch of programmers dumping on us,” wrote Twitter user @datcravat.
“Cognitive dissonance must be very tenable when you can just blame the AI instead of your selfish choices as you build it.”
Another added: “Artists don’t like AI art because programs are unethically ‘trained’ using databases of art belonging to artists who have not given their consent. This is not about gatekeeping. It’s about theft.
It’s also vital to mention that by using the app, you also allow Lensa to use your images as they wish, with you reading the terms and conditions.
HuffPost UK has contacted Lensa AI regarding these points and will update this article if we receive a response.
Whether you choose to download the app or not, we recommend that you take a look at what you are paying for and read the terms and conditions before hitting the download button.