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These AI-Generated Faces are the Stuff of Nightmares (and Dreams)

"When you see a face that is a bit ‘off’, just give it some slack."

By CBR Staff Writer

We’re all familiar with the wierd stock photo: women laughing at salads; a nun hanging out with a fish; the hoodie-wearing hacker watching endless Matrix re-runs.

Now, New York-based Icons8 wants to help those seeking images of anonymously handsome people in their presentation, by offering a royalty-free portfolio of 100,000 AI-generated faces; replete with only a few freaky idiosyncrasies.

Many of the images are indistinguishable from stock images of real people. And while AI-generated faces are nothing new, aims to provide a usable portfolio of different ages and ethnicities consistently sized for designers.

See also: Are Stock Images a Cybersecurity Risk?

Project creator Konstantin Zhabinskiy notes: “All of our training data was shot in-house… No images were pulled from stock media or scraped from the internet. This requires thousands of hours of labor, but in the end we know it will be worth it!

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He added: “These faces feature:

  • Consistent lighting
  • Consistent sizing
  • Range of angles, positions
  • Range of facial expressions
  • Wide variety of ethnicities
  • All ages
  • All face shapes

He added: “We are currently working hard to train and refine our generative models toward our ultimate goal: creating a simple API that can produce infinite diversity. We are iterating fast, but things aren’t perfect quite yet. When you see a face that is a bit ‘off’, just give it some slack.”

Naturally Twitter was unlikely to do that, and examples of oddities soon abounded.

The images, while unkindly highlighted by many users and in turn, Computer Business Review (it’s Friday: is that an excuse?), may yet serve a viable commercial purpose and as Icons8’s team note, could expand to provide a unique further feature: the AI model agency. As Icons8 founder Ivan Braun puts it: “You’d be able to 1. Choose an AI model 2. Send us your merchandise: gadgets, clothing, jewelry 3. Receive the photos of it.”

It’s potentially a huge market – once the nightmarish wrinkles are ironed out.

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