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People are ‘deeply upset’ over phone editing feature that changes faces to look happier

Poppy Bilderbeck

Published 
| Last updated 

People are ‘deeply upset’ over phone editing feature that changes faces to look happier

Featured Image Credit: Google

Google Pixel phone owners are flocking to social media in shock over one particular photo editing feature.

A leaked clip of a promotional video for Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro camera features has been widespread online.

And it's left people extremely divided, with some praising the feature as 'groundbreaking' while others branded it 'creepy'.

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Prepare to feel like you're in an episode of Black Mirror:

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91 Mobiles' Sanket Vijayasarathy explains the video shows examples of the Pro controls such as 'Real Tone, Night Sight, Astrophotgraphy, Super Res Zoom'.

And the one which is causing quite the stir online is 'the ability to swap faces in an image' which Vijayasarathy explains is 'likely through Magic Editor'.

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The feature sees you able to tap on anyone's face in a picture and swap it out for a more smiley face - or whatever you fancy - and the results are flawless.

A leaked promotional video of the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro is being circulated online. Credit: Google
A leaked promotional video of the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro is being circulated online. Credit: Google

Senior Editor at 9to5 Google, Ben Schoon, highlighted the part of the promo video which focuses on the swapping faces feature in a post to X - formerly known as Twitter.

He wrote: "The Pixel 8 is getting what I'm going to call the 'Michael Scott' treatment for photos, with the ability to literally change faces using AI. It looks WILD."

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The Content Mines' podcast host Ryan Broderick retweeted the post, writing: "I find something about this so deeply upsetting and grim. Editing your personal photos to make people look happier, more photogenic.

"The ability to edit your own memories essentially. Awful stuff."

And it didn't take long for others to flood to social media in agreement.

The feature sees you able to tap on anyone's face in a picture and swap it out for a more smiley face - or whatever you fancy - and the results are flawless. Credit: Google
The feature sees you able to tap on anyone's face in a picture and swap it out for a more smiley face - or whatever you fancy - and the results are flawless. Credit: Google
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One user voiced they think the promo clip and face editing looks like the 'beginning of horror movie called: The Family Album'.

"This is creepy af and I don’t get why you don’t get that" another added.

A third commented: "Photos are suppose a show what happened, not what you wanted to happen."

And a fourth resolved: "Tech bros be like 'but it makes photos of memories into far more marketable content, which is what normal human beings want right? they want their entire life to be marketable for revenue targets and better for instagram viralability?'"

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However, others have stuck up for the feature.

Some people weren't fans of the feature. Credit: X/ @NexusBen
Some people weren't fans of the feature. Credit: X/ @NexusBen

Ben Schoon weighed in again: "I'm legitimately shocked that so many people are opposed to this. It's just using multiple photos of the same scene to 'correct' the shot. I... don't see the problem here. The average user is going to be thrilled about this."

"This has been happening ever since Photoshop existed. If you've had a wedding in the past decade and a good photographer/editor at the helm, odds are they have done this to fix blinking and stuff

"This is not new. Google is just making it easy. I promise people will love this," he argued.

Another user said: "Any parent knows the 'Live' function on iPhones is your friend. There’s always one child who’s blinking, looking the other way or grumpy. Being able to stitch the best smile from four kids into one photo is groundbreaking!!"

UNILAD has contacted Google for comment.

Topics: Technology, Google, Phones, Social Media, Twitter

Poppy Bilderbeck
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