FaceApp is my new favourite app ever invented
There are countless apps in the App Stores that use artificial intelligence to help us take better photos, improve or manipulate our appearance. The craze for real-time augmented reality filters popularised by Snapchat continues to be championed by everyone under twenty five with a smartphone.
FaceApp is the latest AR app to start trending. Founded by a former Microsoft and Yandex engineer, it uses “deep generative convolutional neural networks” (a computer system modeled on the human brain and nervous system) to manipulate your selfies; changing facial characteristics, making you look older or younger, reassigning your sex or adding smiles, for which there are two equally unsettling options.
Launched in January this year it has enjoyed a spike in downloads in recent weeks, during which time it will have made its way into many of your social media feeds and Whatsapp groups. This is certainly true among my friends, for many of whom FaceApp has briefly overtaken memes as procrastination weapon of choice. Shout out to Whatsapp’s ‘mute group’ function for keeping me in a job.
To say FaceApp is addictive is an understatement. One friend joked that he had locked his short position in before sharing the app with a trader friend, anticipating a nosedive in productivity and a dent in Morgan Stanley’s Q2 earnings as the app spread like wildfire on the trading floor.
How to use FaceApp
FaceApp has a decent User Interface and is simple to use. You can edit new selfies using the camera via the app or older photos from your library. Simply line up your face, shoot, then scroll through the filters and get ready to meet the old/new you.
All your transformed selfies are automatically saved to the gallery. There’s even a handy tiled option to show off multiple edited pictures in one shareable photo.
Now kiss goodbye to productivity as you ping wrinkly versions of yourself to your friends, nag them to reciprocate, then spend the day stifling involuntary snorts when the terrifying results flood in.
Best of all it’s free, with some features locked behind a paywall for those who want to upgrade to avoid ads and unlock other filters.
Augmented Reality has many noble applications. This isn’t one.
It’s silly and fun and should be appreciated as such — a playful indication of what’s to come as AR becomes more sophisticated.
I only hope anti-ageing technology advances fast enough to save me from looking like a cross between my father and Bobby Gillespie from Primal Scream.
So what are you waiting for? Download FaceApp on both Android and iOS, directly from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store immediately, put the geriatric filter on and watch yourself age faster than this blog post.
The fewer comments about my ‘sister’ the better.