AI Beauty: The Power of Real-Time Selfie Enhancement on Smartphones

Beauty filters for the smartphone: How AI beautifies the selfie in real time

Beauty filters for the smartphone: How AI beautifies the selfie in real time

Glitches and sophisticated technology

Vectors in the latent space and side effects

Read business first article in c’t 16/2023

A peculiar mixture of fascination, amazement, and horror determined the reporting in the public media in 2023, after ByteDance released some new add-ons for its short video platform TikTok.

Also included in the package: a new beauty filter called Bold Glamor and a kind of digital fountain of youth (teenage filter).

Above all, people who had not previously dealt much with the possibilities of visual reality extension (augmented reality, AR) in social networks shivered at the perfection with which Bold Glamor presents their own likeness in the trendy influencer look: without delay, without being conspicuous artifacts.

You can try this effect yourself: activate the bold glamor filter in TikTok, then hold the smartphone in the face of someone who is not very knowledgeable about this, maybe your grandmother. Or choose the teenage filter that magically takes years off faces in split screen. You should get “oohs” and “aahs”, maybe flattered, but certainly very skeptical looks.

However, bold glamor is only the technological spearhead of a development that goes back more than ten years. The history of beauty filters, as AR applications specializing in face manipulation are usually called, is almost as old as that of social media itself.

While hardware manufacturers like Microsoft, Google, and Apple are still after the killer application for their augmented reality headsets, AR has long since triumphed in social media. Because there it is important to present yourself publicly in the best light – the masses obviously accept any technical help with pleasure.

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