Content creator shares warning of privacy concerns with social media trends

AI Selfies - or "Magic Avatars" - have become popular on social media. But is a few dollars worth the price you pay to give up personal data? Bianca Millions explains.

By Bianca Millions

You’ve likely seen them on your social media – your friend’s and family’s photos making them look like avatars in different categories such as “sci-fi” or “mystical”. The craze begs the question, what is AI?

“AI is Artificial Intelligence. A lot of people don’t realize that AI is already in their life,” said Lincoln Ho, content creator. “There’s a lot of AI that’s used everywhere. On your phone, they use tracking to do face unlock, and it learns your face, it learns what kind of things you do on Facebook, some of your spending habits, all that kind of stuff.”

Ho uses AI regularly in his job as a social media content creator. He uses AI to create backgrounds for videos, write emails, and even to act as a personal assistant and write paragraphs of information for his projects.

He’s also experienced the frustrations of some of the pitfalls that come with a lack of human touch.

“I’ve posted a few things that are regular conversations that AI has flagged, and it has flagged my account. And when there’s no person involved to actually look at some of those comments, it does frustrate the user because I could be locked out.”

Lensa is currently the app many people are using to generate the so-called “AI” selfies.

Ho warns that apps like these often are not real a-I…and your personal information could be at risk. In fact, in Lena’s privacy policy that users must agree to when purchasing their doctored pictures, states that the photos you supply may be used to train their AI’s neural network.

Ho says it’s a reminder that when you are paying a few dollars for some fun photos, you’re also giving away personal data.

“I do warn people, be very cautious of the information you give to some of these things where they claim to be AI and then you get all these images back, because they’re taking your information as well, and they’re also sharing it with other parties.”

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