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This camera app uses AI to erase people from your photographs

Bye Bye Camera is an iOS app built for the "post-human world,” says Damjanski, a mononymous artist based in New York City who helped create the software. Why post-human? Because it uses AI to remove people from images and paint over their absence.

"One joke we always make about it is: ‘finally, you can take a selfie without yourself,’” Damjanski tells The Verge.

The app costs $2.99 from the App Store, and, fair warning here, it’s not very good — or at least, it’s not flawless. The app is slow and removes people with a great deal of mess, leaving behind a smear of pixels like an AI hit man sending a message. If you’re looking to edit out political opponents from your Instagram, you’d be better off using Photoshop. But if you want to mess around with machine learning magic, Bye Bye Camera is good fun. 
The app (which The Verge spotted via Prosthetic Knowledge) was created by Damjanski and two of his friends who are all part of Do Something Good, an "incubation collective” where coders and artists pool their resources to create projects. Bye Bye Camera is one of them.

The software behind the app work is pretty straightforward. It uses an open-source object detection algorithm called YOLO to identify people (short for "You Only Look Once”) and a combination of AI systems to fill in their absence. Damjanski doesn’t go into details about these, but such painting algorithms are not uncommon. Nvidia, for example, has created a number of AI tools that generate landscapes and buildings based on users’ drawings. Adobe’s "content-aware fill,” meanwhile, offers more seamless removal, even in videos.

What’s interesting is considering the future of such software. Back in 2017, an app called FaceApp began using machine learning to change people’s expressions and swap their ages and genders. Fast-forward two years, and Snapchat’s gender-swap feature has been used to catch police officers trying to hook up with underage girls. The world of AI moves fast. What’s a prototype today is just a fact of life in a few years’ time.
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