June 17, 2024

Remini tops the App Store for its viral ‘AI headshots’ but its body changes go too far, some say

Instagram Threads’ time at the top of the App Store has come to an end, thanks to an AI photo editing application called Remember that’s going viral on TikTok. First launched in 2019, the app last year added an AI generation feature recently discovered by TikTok users that allows them to create professional headshots for sites like LinkedIn just by uploading their own selfies.

I video only by TikTok user @Gracesplace, for example, the creator shows how she submitted selfies to create a handful of professional-looking headshots that show her in various outfits and poses. The video has since blown up on TikTok, now topping 42.9 million views.

@grace #CapCut #ai #remember #fipsi ♬ 3:15 (Delayed + Reverb) – Russ

As others replicated her experience, the popularity of the AI ​​photo app saw it skyrocket into the overall No. 1 on the US App Store on July 11, overtaking Instagram Threads just days after Twitter’s popular new competitor Meta launched, according to data from an app analytics firm. Apptopia. In the last 30 days, Remini has seen 22+ million downloads worldwide. As of yesterday, the firm estimates that the app had over 20 million daily active users.

On the US App Store, Remini has a 4.6 star rating over 124,000 reviews.

To create the AI ​​headshots, users must first pick between 8 and 12 photos of themselves, including close-up selfies with different backgrounds, expressions and facial angles, and then choose their gender. You’ll pick a “model” image that shows the overall style and composition of the photos you want. To generate professional shots, several options are available under the subheading “curriculum,” but other styles are available, such as “trendy,” “travel,” “casual,” and the “Korean aesthetic,” among others.

The AI ​​will take several minutes to generate the shots. When you’re done, you can swipe left and right as you view the results – similar to how you like or dislike your potential matches on Tinder.

This process is reminiscent of another AI photo app that went viral on TikTok last year: Lensa AI, which used your own photos to create “magical avatars” – or artistic renderings of users’ own images. However, that app raised alarm with artists who said the app was using their art as training data. Additionally, users discovered that they could generate NSFW images with the AI.

Like Lensa AI, the Remini app is also a free download but requires a subscription to use its full set of features. Currently, it is priced at $9.99/week or $79.99 per year. (Some users are probably working around the payment requirement by starting a free trial, generating their AI images, and then canceling their subscription.)

As the Remini headshots trend blew up on TikTok, some users were unhappy with the app’s AI results. Many people found that the app was making unwelcome adjustments to their bodies in the resulting photos. For example, some women said the app was making them thinner while others noted it was significantly increasing the size of their breasts or cleavage.

“I just wanted some connected head shots [sic],” wrote the TikToker @juliak528 in his video. “Why AI gave me a boob job,” read the description of the video, followed by crying emojis.

“No one talks about the danger of this AI trend to your mental health and body dysmorphia [sic],” noted a TikToker @spookyhorrorqueencommenting on how the AI ​​was returning photos showing different body sizes.

“The AI ​​viral headshot filter made me about 105 pounds and it was just… bad,” said another creator, @northstarnotesafter the photos AI made her body smaller.

However, others said they were using their AI “skinny” photos as weight loss motivation.

Mian-based Remini did not respond to requests for comment on whether it was working to address the mistakes AI was making.

There are other concerns with the app as well, such as share users I thought the AI ​​results were good enough that it didn’t make sense to pay a photographer for professional photos – which speaks to the wider implications of easily accessible AI technology.

According to Remini’s website, AI-generated photos of yourself aren’t the app’s only selling point. The app can also be used to restore old photos by adding details, improving face quality, enhancing photo colors and tones, enhancing the background, and more. On the App Store, Remini also promotes the option to use an Official Barbie filter on your selfies, to turn your photos into ones inspired by the new Barbie movie.

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