FaceApp apparently now has race filters. I never got the humor in these.

May 11, 2010
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Honestly I'm not really sure why they pulled it. It's not as if those who felt insulted are going to suddenly start using the app now that they retracted it. The act was done, whatever intention they interpreted the developer to have is now entrenched.
From CEOs, to marketing, to HR, it will have been panic stations to decide how to stem the tide of racism accusations. The longer they go on and get written on respectable publications

https://gizmodo.com/faceapp-launches-digital-blackface-options-because-the-1797682556

https://www.theguardian.com/technol...rced-to-pull-racist-filters-digital-blackface

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technolo...ks-racist-backlash-black-white-asian-filters/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...-react-to-their-new-change-your-race-filters/

http://money.cnn.com/2017/08/09/technology/faceapp-ethnicity-filter/index.html

The more the £££ might be impacted, especially through advertisers, and also your reputation goes in the tank as people read headlines saying "FaceApp is racist".

I expect a full apology to be issued soon if it hasn't been already. It's just the usual way a company is going to handle this.

Within the accusations, I think some need to think about the intent within the app. It worked for all people, and it attempted to realistically alter faces. It wasn't some minstrel show that did this when you loaded up the filters at the mockery and expense of black people



They tried to highlight that

The company initially released a statement arguing that the ”ethnicity change filters" were ”designed to be equal in all aspects".

”They don't have any positive or negative connotations associated with them," the company's chief executive Yaroslav Goncharov said. ”They are even represented by the same icon. In addition to that, the list of those filters is shuffled for every photo, so each user sees them in a different order."
As I said above (last page), probably a casualty of its times, being one of the first, free, quick and pretty realistic ways to do something like this for millions all at once. In that sense, you can maybe say the developers and owners were stupid to do what they did. Let someone else do it first (and take the backlash), but then again, that's not how it works in the tech industry. Usually, everyone wants to be first to show off the tech they have/are working on.
 

Orb

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Jan 9, 2017
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is it though? this is or was available worldwide, and not every country has a history of blackface.

i think it would have been way more racist to exclude African features on the assumption that black people are too fragile to handle the app, tbh.. thats just my opinion though and im not black so fuck if i know.

i will say though, we can be pretty sure that the app makers did not take into account all the different facial features in Africa, because in reality there is of course tremendous variety (i would guess at least as much as in Europe or Asia, probably more) .. Somalis, Nigerians, South Africans, Masai people etc etc all look very different thanks to the huge genetic variety on the continent. so maybe its racist because they simplified it too much.. i can buy that.
I can relent a bit with the other replies, but this rubs me the wrong way.

Just because it doesnt have a "history"(?) in a country doesnt make people in that country using blackface not still super fucked.
 
Dec 5, 2008
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I can relent a bit with the other replies, but this rubs me the wrong way.

Just because it doesnt have a "history"(?) in a country doesnt make people in that country using blackface not still super fucked.
That's another subject. I'd like to know why you think this app in specific is racist.
 
May 11, 2010
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Wow Hollywood is going to have a field day with this.

Prepare for the new age of having every role in every movie whitewashed in casting and digitally fixed up in post.
In case you missed it earlier it was actually used to "fix" whitewashing lol



I made a comment on the last page about games development, and while I don't work in the industry, surely tech like this or a more advanced variant of it could be useful 5~10 years down the line? Or when the tech can be more diverse at being diverse (as yes, it's incredibly limited in truly capturing the diversity of 7 billion people).

Instead of having to scan multiple faces all the time (or use whacky generation as seen below), you could theoretically use an algorithm/tool to realistically provide NPC diversification? This photo of lightning from FF13 is fairly tastefully and accurately edited.



I think there is one of Nathan Drake that turned out okay as well?

Maybe the days of hitting randomise in the Dark Souls/Skyrim generator and getting



Are going to be behind us?

Speaking of games, you can already go down the paths of drawing very very very vague similarities to character creation tools where the end user, no matter their race/ethnicity can effectively create an avatar which may somewhat look like them, but also have the characteristic and skin colour of someone else. Obviously, this isn't the same thing as FaceApp, but I think it somewhat highlights how part of the emotional response to FaceApp is because of how realistic it is. It's not an avatar in Skyrim, that apart from being a black or white person, can be a damn cat or lizard. It's taking pictures (98% which are real people and not Lightning like above) and realistically altering them, and I think that just creeps out and makes people feel uncomfortable. Especially when it isn't some lame, offensive and caricature version of someone's ethnicity/race, but a serious and realistic attempt. As above if it was a "minstrel show" conversion to mock and ridicule, pour gasoline on it, light it with fire and go after the developers. It wasn't that though, nor was it an app for white people at the expense of the rest of the world, or so on. It appeared to be a genuine attempt to show off the technology people had already been quite impressed with as it aged them, young or old, or even more impressively at times turned them from male to female or female to male.
 

boiled goose

good with gravy
Oct 30, 2007
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It would be more interesting if it used a statistical distribution of features instead of just perceived mean features.

Like running the filter would get you slightly different results every time.

If it defines races as a specific set of features then it's when it gets into stereotype territory
 
May 11, 2010
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It would be more interesting if it used a statistical distribution of features instead of just perceived mean features.

Like running the filter would get you slightly different results every time.

If it defines races as a specific set of features then it's when it gets into stereotype territory
Gotta agree with that, but I guess that is a current limitation of whatever the algorithm/code/technology currently is. Something you'd expect to be vastly improved on over the next 5 to 10+ years.

Isn't it in part because it tries to work from your facial features? To which the argument there is it isn't trying to just randomise your face on repeat clicks of a button, and magically make you something new, but as realistically as possible show what you could be like if you still retained some of what you currently are? That example being even when you see the majority of the celeb ones, you can still tell who it's been based on (even when their original photo is missing). The filters do not aim to radically transform beyond recognition, but subtly and realistically.
 

Tunesmith

formerly "chigiri"
Oct 16, 2004
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I made a comment on the last page about games development, and while I don't work in the industry, surely tech like this or a more advanced variant of it could be useful 5~10 years down the line? Or when the tech can be more diverse at being diverse (as yes, it's incredibly limited in truly capturing the diversity of 7 billion people).
We'll see real-time application of tech like it increasing the next few years, there are already companies that are using it to an extent (Snapchat for example) and deep learning usage is only going to advance as time goes on.
 

GSG Flash

Nobody ruins my family vacation but me...and maybe the boy!
Jul 7, 2004
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i recently got the notif and instantly reeled in shock

how tf they think this okay

edit: lol at people not thinking that this is totally just digital blackface
How is this digital blackface? The app literally uses a neural network to find faces that match features on the user picked face and blends them. The face it's generating exists in reality somewhere in this world(or atleast a close likeness of it).

I think people overreacted hardcore over this and now we lost something that was fun to play around with. As someone said earlier, no fun allowed :/
 
Aug 29, 2016
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Don't think this app was racist at all and now it's gone... Thanks racists for ruining yet another thing.

It's not digital blackface it does not use super stereotype racistic comedic ways to generate the faces it's just a fun app to look how you or others would look like sort off as a different human race.

I don't think that's racistic at all.
If it would have used stereotype like features then yes it is.
 
Jun 8, 2013
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Honestly don't see this as blackface personally, it isn't a caricature. Hell I'd have used it, I always wanted to know what I'd look like if I was white but it's been taken down now.

The technology really is impressive.
 
May 11, 2010
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We'll see real-time application of tech like it increasing the next few years, there are already companies that are using it to an extent (Snapchat for example) and deep learning usage is only going to advance as time goes on.
Pretty exciting, hence how an ignorant idiot like me to the technology started speculating on gaming uses. I wait for the inevitable David Cage "emotions in deep learning" presentation (
it's okay, jokes, I like your games, David!
)

I guess that's also why I said if the technology is going to vastly improve and become widespread, a society 20 years down the line just isn't going to care like it does right now, is it? If everything went on behind the scenes and people didn't know any better that games, animation and more could be using "deep learning", well, they just wouldn't know if the results can be even better than they are now! Unless of course, the devs explain their development processes. The uncomfortable reaction here seems to be that FaceApp allows the general public to experiment directly with the tech (so yeah, brace yourself for 1,000s of Hitler.jpg). However, even that (public usage) in 20 years or whatever is just going to be unavoidable. Maybe Photoshop and others will just have filters/tech built in that is based on manipulation seen here to alter photos??? Or if not them maybe there will just be hundreds of apps doing it rather than one?

So, I'm guessing FaceApp have just taken existing and ongoing technology/algorithms (deep learning) and they're tweaking it exclusively for use on the face? If anything they're doing is proprietary it seems like the kind of app/company/tech that will get some stupid large buyout sooner than later.
 
Jun 19, 2016
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can the parts of the world where race isn't such an extremely hot topic get this feature back and then put it back in the american version in 20,30 years? :(
NO. In 20-30 years americans won't be able to take pictures of themselves anymore because it's discriminatory towards vampires
 

ssolitare

Manbaby: The Member
Jan 12, 2009
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Don't think this app was racist at all and now it's gone... Thanks racists for ruining yet another thing.

It's not digital blackface it does not use super stereotype racistic comedic ways to generate the faces it's just a fun app to look how you or others would look like sort off as a different human race.

I don't think that's racistic at all.
If it would have used stereotype like features then yes it is.
It's not digital blackface. However, it was only good for its 5 minutes of fun anyway. No one would care about it in a week. Fun while it briefly lasted though.
 

Orb

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Jan 9, 2017
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That's another subject. I'd like to know why you think this app in specific is racist.
Uh, first of all, you aren't even the guy I was replying to so don't dismiss what I brought up there.

Secondly, I already said I eased up a bit after reading other replies, though it still feels a lot like digital yellow/black/indian(?) face, and so It feels pretty racist to me.

Blackface doesn't have to be comically stereotypical to be bad
 
Jan 16, 2012
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Wait, the feature is removed?

Wtf... there was nothing wrong with this...

We are going down a fucked up path with race/gender "issues" these days...

Soon enough I'll be told I need to call my infant daughter my "child" until she is old enough to decide if she is a boy or not...
 
Dec 5, 2008
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Fucking pussies removed it because of all the dumb ass whining.

This was a cool feature. But of course, people find fucking "racism" in anything.

The term racist has lost so much meaning now.
 
Dec 5, 2008
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Uh, first of all, you aren't even the guy I was replying to so don't dismiss what I brought up there.

Secondly, I already said I eased up a bit after reading other replies, though it still feels a lot like digital yellow/black/indian(?) face, and so It feels pretty racist to me.

Blackface doesn't have to be comically stereotypical to be bad
Why did you leave out white face? The app can turn people into Caucasians as well.

I understand that you feel like this is racist, but have you thought of an explanation for why that is? I'm genuinely curious.
 

EviLore

Expansive Ellipses
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May 30, 2004
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Approaching seriously for a sec: this "race filter" tool's algorithms sounded reasonable from the snippets discussed earlier, and the output did not appear to strongly favor any particular one of the race presets from what I could see in the results posted here. Yes, it is inherently stereotyping and reductive on some levels, and obviously imperfect...but it is all of those things pretty neutrally across each of its race presets, so...not racist. I don't know what the internal development motives were, if any, beyond "make another iterative cool face toy," but regardless of intent I think this one had some cultural side merit, too, beyond the elaborate casual gimmick.

There's an important perceptual interface here between the "you" you're uploading to the app and the reinterpreted racial flavors of you it sends back. Crucially, the tech seems good enough that you can still discern yourself there in each of the results despite the sometimes dramatic transformations.

Basically it was all just a gimmick for fun, sure, and outrage of dubious merit won this one handily since the devs didn't seem fond of the outlook across the 24 hours or so, but thanks to the elaborate tech behind it It was also handing you a pretty potent visual aid for nudging some folks toward a bit of common ground with their fellow human being even when superficially disparate, and that can go a long way toward demonstrating how arbitrary the concept of (and toxic cultural emphasis still placed on) racial identity/labeling is by testing it directly against your fundamental sense of self (or subverting your perception of a public figure similarly), which this gimmick app happened to tackle as a byproduct of how well the gimmick feature was implemented. Continuing to see "you" in the interpretations no matter the race disparity haaaas to present an opportunity to open some minds. It's a lot easier to relate to someone when the first someone can essentially be you acting as an intermediary proxy -- in the form of sci-fi neural net photoshops of you pretty convincingly passing as part of a group you might have harbored biases against/toward, had problems identifying with or humanizing or overcoming disingenuous pervasive cultural talking points, etc. etc.

Some potential doors to empathy there? Could lead to some folks eye to eye with the uncomfortable reality of seeing themselves re-imagined as someone they'd default to immediate racism towards, and then on occasion maybe step back and try to reconcile their own behaviors and motives after confronting the cognitive dissonance? Maybe.

It'd also be pretty neat on its own to see your results when you have a diverse background/family since you don't always inherit the same features and skin tone as your siblings or other close relatives, and it can be hard to visualize a different genetic dice roll sans convenient neural net designed for such purposes. Impressive tech; not racist (thought I'm sure some used it to that end on Shitty Internet); definitely not blackface, regardless. If they had the resources to do so, some additional race presets to diversify the number of outcomes per source image and better cover the initial release's underrepresented regional/ethnic groups would've helped, but that wasn't the main source of the overwhelming outrage it seems (accusations of blackface and demands to immediately pull it, it looks like?) so I guess this is just toast, then. Oh well.
 
Aug 26, 2008
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Approaching seriously for a sec: this "race filter" tool's algorithms sounded reasonable from the snippets discussed earlier, and the output did not appear to strongly favor any particular one of the race presets from what I could see in the results posted here. Yes, it is inherently stereotyping and reductive on some levels, and obviously imperfect...but it is all of those things pretty neutrally across each of its race presets, so...not racist. I don't know what the internal development motives were, if any, beyond "make another iterative cool face toy," but regardless of intent I think this one had some cultural side merit, too, beyond the elaborate casual gimmick.

There's an important perceptual interface here between the "you" you're uploading to the app and the reinterpreted racial flavors of you it sends back. Crucially, the tech seems good enough that you can still discern yourself there in each of the results despite the sometimes dramatic transformations.

Basically it was all just a gimmick for fun, sure, and outrage of dubious merit won this one handily since the devs didn't seem fond of the outlook across the 24 hours or so, but thanks to the elaborate tech behind it It was also handing you a pretty potent visual aid for nudging some folks toward a bit of common ground with their fellow human being even when superficially disparate, and that can go a long way toward demonstrating how arbitrary the concept of (and toxic cultural emphasis still placed on) racial identity/labeling is by testing it directly against your fundamental sense of self (or subverting your perception of a public figure similarly), which this gimmick app happened to tackle as a byproduct of how well the gimmick feature was implemented. Continuing to see "you" in the interpretations no matter the race disparity haaaas to present an opportunity to open some minds. It's a lot easier to relate to someone when the first someone can essentially be you acting as an intermediary proxy -- in the form of sci-fi neural net photoshops of you pretty convincingly passing as part of a group you might have harbored biases against/toward, had problems identifying with or humanizing or overcoming disingenuous pervasive cultural talking points, etc. etc.

Some potential doors to empathy there? Could lead to some folks eye to eye with the uncomfortable reality of seeing themselves re-imagined as someone they'd default to immediate racism towards, and then on occasion maybe step back and try to reconcile their own behaviors and motives after confronting the cognitive dissonance? Maybe.

It'd also be pretty neat on its own to see your results when you have a diverse background/family since you don't always inherit the same features and skin tone as your siblings or other close relatives, and it can be hard to visualize a different genetic dice roll sans convenient neural net designed for such purposes. Impressive tech; not racist (thought I'm sure some used it to that end on Shitty Internet); definitely not blackface, regardless. If they had the resources to do so, some additional race presets to diversify the number of outcomes per source image and better cover the initial release's underrepresented regional/ethnic groups would've helped, but that wasn't the main source of the overwhelming outrage it seems (accusations of blackface and demands to immediately pull it, it looks like?) so I guess this is just toast, then. Oh well.
I completely agree. EviLore, as the most powerful man on the planet can you use your vast wealth and influence to bring the filters back?
 
Jun 24, 2014
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Man you guys complaining about this need to chill. You know, this thing can actually give a bit of help for people of mixed races that are looking for their long lost parents or siblings. May give people an idea what their parents could somewhat look like.