|Initial release||December 31, 2016|
|Operating system||iOS, Android|
FaceApp is a photo and video editing application for iOS and Android developed by Wireless Lab, a company based in Russia. The app generates highly realistic transformations of human faces in photographs by using neural networks based on artificial intelligence. The app can transform a face to make it smile, look younger, look older, or change gender.
FaceApp was launched on iOS in January 2017 and on Android in February 2017. There are multiple options to manipulate the photo uploaded such as editor options of adding an impression, make-up, smiles, hair colors, hairstyles, glasses, age or beards. Filters, lens blur and backgrounds along with overlays, tattoos, and vignettes are also a part of the app. The gender change transformations of FaceApp have attracted particular interest from the LGBT and transgender communities, due to their ability to realistically simulate the appearance of a person as the opposite gender.
A "hot" transformation was available in the app in 2017 supposedly making its users appear more physically attractive, but this was accused of racism for lightening the skin color of black people and making them look more European. The feature was briefly renamed "spark" before being removed. Founder and chief executive Yaroslav Goncharov apologised, describing the situation as "an unfortunate side-effect of the underlying neural network caused by the training set bias, not intended behaviour" and announcing that a "complete fix" was being worked on. In August that year, FaceApp once again faced criticism when it featured "ethnicity filters" depicting "White", "Black", "Asian", and "Indian". The filters were immediately removed from the app.
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