Home/The Rise of AI-Enhanced Profile Pictures: A Glimpse into the Future of Digital Identity

The Rise of AI-Enhanced Profile Pictures: A Glimpse into the Future of Digital Identity

October 17, 2023

In today’s digital age, the way we present ourselves online is more crucial than ever. From Instagram selfies to LinkedIn headshots, the images we choose to represent us can speak volumes. But with the constant evolution of technology, the traditional methods of enhancing these images are being overshadowed by a new player in town: Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Goodbye Photoshop, Hello AI!

Photoshop and other filters have always been a tool people have used to get their online images looking the best possible. However, a recent trend suggests that AI is quickly becoming the preferred method for enhancing online profile pictures. And it’s not just about adding a filter or tweaking the brightness; it’s about a complete transformation.

The TikTok Trend That Started It All

Over the summer, a TikTok video went viral and started the craze. Captioned “using this trend to get a new LinkedIn headshot,” the clip showcased a young woman comparing her real-life appearance to a professional-looking headshot generated by an AI-powered app named Remini. This video alone garnered a staggering 52.3 million views, sparking a wave of similar content from other users.

How Does It Work?

Apps like Remini, along with its competitors such as Try It On AI and AI Suit Up, are using AI to produce profile photos that seem as if they are taken by professional photographers in a studio. The process is simple: users upload selfies of themselves that are clear, in good lighting and from different angles. The AI then studies these images to understand the user’s features. Within minutes, it generates enhanced photos where the user appears polished, sometimes even with different hairstyles, outfits, and in perfect lighting conditions. At this point of time you decide what version of yourself you would like to showcase to the online world.

The Debate: Authenticity vs. Convenience

While many users have praised these AI services for their affordability and convenience, others remain skeptical. Divya Shishodia, a digital marketer from Australia, acknowledges that while AI headshots are clearly generated, they offer a cost-effective alternative for those who can’t afford professional photography.

On the other hand, individuals like Molly McCrann, an actor also from Australia, feel the results can appear too artificial. She believes that it’s essential to present a genuine image, especially to potential employers.

The Psychological Impact

Dr. Paul Marsden, a consumer psychologist, highlights the double-edged sword of AI-enhanced images. On one side, they allow individuals to project their best selves, potentially boosting confidence. On the flip side, they might lead to self-worth issues, with people feeling inadequate compared to their AI-enhanced versions.

The Verdict from the Recruitment World

But does capitalizing on this opportunity sway your chances of getting a job online? Tristan Barthel from Tate Recruitment in London is able to tell when these tools are being used and has noticed a rise in users. However, he says that he does not factor in usage of such tools in his final decisions. For him, qualifications remain paramount. This is what one recruiter has said but there may be others who may be not be as impartial.

In Conclusion

The rise of AI-enhanced profile pictures is undeniable. As technology continues to evolve, so will the ways we choose to represent ourselves online. Whether you’re team AI or prefer the traditional route, one thing’s for sure: the future of digital identity is here, and it’s fascinating.


Original Article: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-67054382

Photo by Lilly Rum on Unsplash

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