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

Jun 19, 2011
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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...
You're so transparent, looks like you finally found a thread to complain about "outrage culture".

I'm miffed that they took it down but posts like these are so utterly stupid.
 
Nov 8, 2013
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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 didn't see much empathy sadly, just "lol look at how big my nose and lips get" or "lol I am asian" The app basically made every black version of a person bigger lips wider nose, which for me is stereotyping big time. I get people hought it was "fun" and I didn't, so I said my bit and moved on.

The outrage over the outrage is kind of funny though.
 
Sep 1, 2009
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My general attitude towards all "bad" experiences. The notion that negative-in = negative-out is an easy mindtrap to fall into, but it's a bit upsetting that the majority of people don't go more than one level deep. The only exception for the majority seems to be violent video games. More people agree that violent video games don't create violent people. However, those same people seem incapable of applying that thought to other areas. Such as this FaceApp thing. People insist on only seeing that bad and projecting their own feelings as sweeping generalizations instead of letting those they fear to use this tool for evil to learn some empathy.

Which is a bit ironic.
 
Aug 24, 2009
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I didn't see much empathy sadly, just "lol look at how big my nose and lips get" or "lol I am asian" The app basically made every black version of a person bigger lips wider nose, which for me is stereotyping big time. I get thought it was "fun" and I didn't, so I said my bit and moved on.

The outrage over the outrage is kind of funny though.
Um, it didn't add big lips or a wider nose to every one. For me, it barely altered anything aside from pigment. It tried to work on my hair but I had messy hair so it went kind of crazy there.
 
Sep 12, 2009
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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.
I mean, it's not that big of a jump to go from an app that changes peoples race to racism. That said, people sure overreacted and it would have been cool to leave the app as it was.
 
Jan 14, 2005
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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.
I don't even think it was racists that got rid of it,shit was out for like what, a day? It was fear of racism that mixed it.

And I get that, the app seemed ripe for it, but I couldn't call the app itself racist, it's actually usually pretty good and it's using actual faces to create a face that's usually not far off from the original. An app that produced comical results as it's normal or intended output would definitely be more than suspect, but this? This worked pretty well for it's intended use.
 

Trojita

Rapid Response Threadmaker
Feb 9, 2009
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I didn't see much empathy sadly, just "lol look at how big my nose and lips get" or "lol I am asian" The app basically made every black version of a person bigger lips wider nose, which for me is stereotyping big time. I get thought it was "fun" and I didn't, so I said my bit and moved on.

The outrage over the outrage is kind of funny though.
It's using neural networks to apply a mean of facial characteristics. The basis of it would be racist if a human in process specifically chose a group of people with exaggerated features to be the average. Sometimes it has really great results like in the Lightning picture, other times it can result in a not so great result. It seems to be using a lot of celebrity pictures in the neural network.
 
Jul 24, 2009
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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? :(
Racism is unfortunately a human trait present in pretty much every single society that has to actively be fought, but the US has taken it to really bizarre extremes. This is just my impression after reading about it, but I think segregation really did a number on americans, the concept is so entrenched that even minorities themselves inadvertently defend it, it's really the only reason I see anyone could be offended about this app.

I get how minstrel shows were awful and demeaning, but not every instance of race change is blackface or minstrel-ing, if anything this app shows how very small changes completely change our perception and is a first step in deconstructing the whole thing.
 
Aug 24, 2009
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Why I said basically.
I don't think it would do that on even a majority. There's a portion of people that would have just their hair darkened, there's a portion of people that would just have skin tone altered, there's a portion of people that would just have their nose altered, there's a portion of people that would be heavily altered. Why? As it would happen, a fair number of people are mixed race which makes it all the worse that people can hate people based on race.
 
Sep 15, 2005
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Huh, so they took it off? I saw some of the early pages and thought the quality was impressive in some of the images and wanted to see how it worked with my own images. Updated the app and still couldn't find it, and I thought I was going crazy lol...
Oh well.
 
Feb 6, 2017
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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.
Absolutely! My brothers and I couldn't look more different.

Oh well... They can always work on it, improve it and maybe release it again in the future. Maybe.
 
May 11, 2010
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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.
I've been thinking a lot about that recently, as it's true some online are flippantly using words/accusations like there's an award to be won if you can reach a certain quota. Then others respond to that with "x has lost all it's meaning now".

I think I've settled on words don't really lose any meaning, but the ways in which people can use them often simply signifies things such as intellectual dishonesty, ulterior motivations, a lack of knowledge, being afraid, following in/out group trends and pretty much doing themselves a disservice at worst. Not that a word has lost its meaning. It's often a defensive mechanism when you can't emotionally cope with the world/something in the world, to go on the accusatory/attack. Often justified, yes, but there's plenty of other examples now thanks to the internet broadcasting half the opinions of the world, that end up with contested debate. Just look at this topic, there isn't a unified stance or even a 90/10 stance. It's pretty mixed, probably leaning on being in favour of the app existing as is. It appears the rest of the internet has actually been more conservative than here, when talking about reading opinions that aren't shit posts, trolling and other nastiness. Even many mainstream news outlets jumped on this as racism.

Language is malleable to an extent, and times can change, but words with clear definitions and uses, such as racist/racism, aren't really words that will ever lose their meaning. As there will always be racism, and it will always need to be called out. Compassion and understanding are needed, especially when it is true in the wake of this app as I said earlier, presenting say hi to "HitlerdidnothingwrongANDisnowBlack.jpg". The usage of the app by the end user can result is some offensive and potentially racist depictions/editing. Unfortunately, that is always going to happen when tools get into the hands of the public, which is why I did attempt to broaden the discussion above and talk development/games (to which someone did respond to me saying real-time 3D work is exploring these kinds of networks/tools or whatever they're called).

EviLore has dropped a post on the last page explaining my own feelings better than I did lol. Just thought I'd chime in on your remarks about words and meaning, as I think in frustration at times more people are being a bit lazy and just shouting "x has now lost all meaning!". Challenge the people making claims in debate before just writing off words/language.
 
Jan 11, 2008
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Well, in the end it's a one hour fun app. Would have been the same with this feature. I can understand that just giving a wide nose and bigger lips is considered stereotyping. Because it is. The algorythm does more than that though. I was mighty impressed with what it did to some faces. It IS fun to see. For an hour. I think the app would be more fun if we had all lived in harmony since forever. But that's not the case.
 

Tunesmith

formerly "chigiri"
Oct 16, 2004
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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.
The Public can already extensively experiment with custom implementations of the tech, the tech is in itself is nothing proprietary. Google and a number of other organisations have publicly available resources that can freely be used for projects. Google's DeepMind Dream or FaceApp are just two of many applications. Popular photo editing app Prisma is another app that fundamentally uses the same approach, just different training material for their neural nets.
 
Jan 24, 2013
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people are too sensitive these days.
Generally I'm all for empathy and I DEFINITELY think the human race is shite at NOT being racist (and you'll often see me throwing things when clear and blatant racism)... I really don't think the app was the hill to die on for it; for one because it's hard to put a pin on who and how exactly it's being a detriment to race relations beyond, literally, skin deep.



If anything it tells me I'd crush on Lightning no matter what skin colour she had (also weirdly cool to see her 100% Asian looking than the kinda/sorta 'Eurasian' approach you see her in-game with).

Kinda like Always-Honest said, people would tinker with this for an hour, have a quick laugh at how good/bad some celebrity looks, then probably not bother again.
 
Aug 24, 2016
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If only we could go back to the good old days, where treating other races with a semblance of intelligence.

Refresh my memory, when were those exactly, bigJP?
im part of a visible minority and i found the app fun. im not saying go back to fucking slavery but shit, laugh things off sometimes. its good for the heart. not everything is doom and gloom.
 
May 11, 2010
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The Public can already extensively experiment with custom implementations of the tech, the tech is in itself is nothing proprietary. Google and a number of other organisations have publicly available resources that can freely be used for projects. Google's DeepMind Dream or FaceApp are just two of many applications. Popular photo editing app Prisma is another app that fundamentally uses the same approach, just different training material for their neural nets.
Ah, thanks. Yeah. I forgot about Prisma which I've used a few times for the awesome effects it produces. It's like magic.

I think that everyone can agree that the real tragedy here is that we weren't able to put this guy through any of the filters
Googling Dark Souls character customization unleashes a world of hurt no one should have to go through.



















 
Feb 25, 2015
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Hard for me to figure on the racism angle, because in a way accusing it of racism requires subconsciously embracing "white as default." For non-white races transitioning into white, it is apt to sharpen and narrow the nose, thin out the lips, etc. This is not inherently flattering, or any less stereotypical of white features; it's just how best to signal "white" as far as the machine is concerned.

In order to say white people are getting preferential treatment in this filter, don't you have to already believe these stereotypical traits are "better?"

Or, can it somehow be racist against every race, including white? Can racism be happening if there is no advantage or superiority granted to one of the races involved?
 
Jul 30, 2012
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Awww, I'm a little annoyed I missed the feature. This looked like it would be a little fun. Interesting app though. I put my face through as a female face, and my little sister popped out, hahaha.
 

Oxn

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Jul 17, 2011
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Awww, I'm a little annoyed I missed the feature. This looked like it would be a little fun. Interesting app though. I put my face through as a female face, and my little sister popped out, hahaha.
Depending on which pic i use, the female me is someone i would date.
 
Awww, I'm a little annoyed I missed the feature. This looked like it would be a little fun.
I feel the same. I thought I might be able to download an apk file of the earlier update but it didn't work. I'm guessing it's a server side feature. Oh well, here's hoping someone/some company out there sees this new empty void and takes advantage of it by making their own faceapp with race changer.
 

Orb

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Jan 9, 2017
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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.
Because white people havent been systematically oppressed and white face has never been a widespread form of bigotry

I don't need to explain why blackface is racist lol?
 

Orb

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Jan 9, 2017
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No, but I am curious to hear why a computer doing bidrectional transitions using machine learning is the same thing, morally.

And, honestly, I am curious. This is new ground we're standing on.
It feels gross. Having people essentially "dress up" as another race for shits and giggles.
 
Nov 23, 2010
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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.
Exactly. In the mixed af family I'm in it was a blast. I have Japanese cousins I may never meet but I could get some idea of what they might look like. I wanted to show this app to my Mum so she could see herself as her Jamaican (mixed af) cousins etc.

There was just too much goodness to throw away to sensitivity.
 

Suntory

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Jun 14, 2017
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Blackface doesn't have to be comically stereotypical to be bad
If blackface is not about depicting a non-black person in a stereotypical 'black' manner, why would it be bad? I could paint my face green, purple, ..whatever, and that would be okay. But if I painted my face black, it automatically becomes racist?


When the whole Sinterklaas debate started in my country, I was all for the idea of putting and end to our version of Blackface, because it was clearly a stereotype and based on colonial views of black people. People argued they never saw it as 'racist', but that didn't change the fact that the depiction was very stereotypical and the origin of it, racist.
That's the main difference here: there's no stereotypical depiction of black, caucasian, asian people here, nor any ulterior racist motive or origin to go along with it.

Frankly, I despise people that use examples like: 'racism is relative, lost all meaning, bla bla, ' because racism is very real. But getting worked up about this adds only fuel to their narrative, because frankly, the argument about it being racist, is not well thought out at all.

There are a ton of questions I could ask to go along with this, like:
- why is changing into a woman not considered wrong then? Women were supressed almost through the entire history of human kind, so I figure it's kinda the same argument

- when would painting myself black become racist if it's not about depicting negative stereotypes? --> If I paint my face in all the colours of the rainbow, should I exclude black? Can I paint my face half black, half purple?
 
Aug 30, 2012
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I swear some of these "filters" are real people are you're just messing with me. Interesting tech shut down simply because people were screaming about the abuse. Abuse is going to happen. Its in peoples nature. Doesn't mean we should squash a technology.
Yeah, kind of a shame.. Meanwhile, people can literally scream while they're being shot, but guns aren't going anywhere.

But, I guess that's the difference when a company has some sensitivity and respect for human beings, even if it feels like a shame. At least they care.
 
Jun 13, 2008
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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.
As a mixed dude, this was specifically what I was looking forward to using it for. Too bad.