Yes, I know that FaceApp came out a few years back, but I didn’t pay attention to it. I thought that since I am somewhat of a Photoshop expert, there was no need for a smartphone app that manipulates faces to make people look younger, older, or the opposite sex. It can also give you anyone a beard, a different smile, etc.
The fact, as I discovered this week, is that FaceApp does this far better than Photoshop can. It uses a type of artificial intelligence that learns by analyzing up to millions of examples of images with several traits. When I transformed myself to an old man, it not only added red skin blotches to my skin, but gray hair (at least I won’t be bald) and deep wrinkles. It really frightened me. “I want to be dead before I look like this,” I joked. But there was truth to that statement as well. Just look at the picture!
Once the transformation of myself into several different versions wore off (and that took a couple hours), I decided to try it on others, including my brother or sister. I didn’t have any vengeful feelings of making my siblings look bad — or at least what they might look like in twenty years. But I soon thought of people I didn’t like — former “friends” who screwed me over, former bosses who didn’t appreciate me, and even some celebrities I wasn’t fond of. And I couldn’t put down my phone.
My favorite was turning Tom Cruise (who I have nothing against) old and wrinkly. I have always been jealous of the way he keeps himself up (of course, Botox and plastic surgery help), so I decided to “unjealous” him. I’m sure Cruise himself would laugh.
It’s day three, and I am still having a lot of fun. As a matter of fact, I’m having fun writing this article about all the fun. But is it really healthy fun? For one thing, this app makes me very self-conscious, and I often feel bad about myself using it. It also makes me realize what a fake world we’re living in as I realize a lot of people really use this app to present a completely different version of themselves. Finally, it shows how — especially in the digital age — we’re obsessed with what’s on the outside of the person, not the inside.
And as I type this, I’m thinking of whose face I can next terrorize. You may be laughing, but the next one could be yours!