Large eyes, soft lines and vibrant coloring: You, too, can look like a character straight out of a Disney movie.
The Voilà AI Artist app has taken social media by storm by providing users with AI-powered photo filters. But what happens to those images once uploaded to the web?
The app features four different options, including 2D or 3D cartoons, renaissance and caricatures.
Users can upload or take a photo, pick a mode and then save the image or upload it to social media. Voilà also has a feature that modifies images specifically of celebrities and offers a subscription service at $3 on iOS and $2 on Android a week, which eliminates ads.
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Jill Baguchinsky, an author and user of Voilà, said she first downloaded the app after seeing a friend’s post on Facebook using the filters.
“Who knows where some of these photos might end up? I’m sticking to using photos I already have online since those are already out there either way,” Baguchinsky said in an email to USA TODAY. “I wouldn’t upload anything especially personal or private to an app like this.”
Steve Povolny, head of Advanced Threat Research and principle engineer at McAfee, says that with apps like Voilà, there’s always a few privacy concerns to keep in mind.
“I think most people understand now that your face is a completely different type of identity that we weren’t used to having protected in the past,” Povolny said. “And in a lot of ways, carries at least as much, if not more, information than much of the public information that you actually subscribe to sharing.”
Povolny also noted that while people usually know of the risks associated with using apps that collect data, and specifically photos, they don’t always realize the full impacts of how that data might be used in the future.
Over the past few years, Povolny noted that people have become more accustomed to their data being collected and used by companies.
“Five to ten years ago, you probably couldn’t really imagine a blanket statement saying, ‘Yeah, we’re collecting your data, and we’re going to do whatever we want with it, whenever we want,’ ” Povolny said. “That wasn’t really socially accepted, it would at least raise an eyebrow, and now it’s the status quo.”
Voilà says it deletes after 24 to 48 hours. However, there’s no public verification on it.
But for Destiny Velez, a data analyst and user of the Voilà app, the concerns are minimal.
Velez downloaded the app after seeing a co-worker using it and has since shared it with others in her family.
She noted that while other apps like Snapchat have similar filters, they aren’t as developed. Velez said she plans on continuing to use the app, especially if more filters are added.
As AI and technology improve moving forward, Povolny warns that users will need to be more careful about what apps they use and what they post on social media.
“We really need to be cognitive of what the future is,” Povolny said. “There’s this massive data collection effort, and we really don’t know how it’s going to be used down the road.”