June 08, 2020

Thank you Drew Harwell and The Washington Post for asking our input on this issue! 

From the article:

Artificial intelligence start-ups are selling images of computer-generated faces that look like the real thing, offering companies a chance to create imaginary models and “increase diversity” in their ads without needing human beings.

One firm is offering to sell diverse photos for marketing brochures and has already signed up clients, including a dating app that intends to use the images in a chatbot. Another company says it’s moving past AI-generated headshots and into the generation of full, fake human bodies as early as this month.

The AI software used to create such faces is freely available and improving rapidly, allowing small start-ups to easily create fakes that are so convincing they can fool the human eye. The systems train on massive databases of actual faces, then attempt to replicate their features in new designs.

But while the AI start-ups boast a simple fix — offering companies the illusion of diversity, without working with a diverse set of people — their systems have a crucial flaw: They mimic only the likenesses they’ve already seen. Valerie Emanuel, a Los Angeles-based co-founder of the talent agency Role Models Management, said she worried that these kinds of fake photos could turn the medium into a monoculture, in which most faces look the same.

“We want to create more diversity and show unique faces in advertising going forward,” Emanuel said. “This is homogenizing one look.”

Read full article here