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Monday, July 15, 2024

WhatsApp introduces AI-generated selfie feature

WhatsApp's focus on personalized images sets it apart, potentially redefining how users engage with the app.

In recent months, WhatsApp has been integrating AI functionalities to enhance user experience. Initially, the platform introduced Meta AI, enabling users to generate images from text and interact with an AI chatbot. This feature, while intriguing, was seen by some as a gimmick to boost user engagement. However, WhatsApp’s latest beta update promises a more personalized and potentially useful application of AI technology.

Personalized AI-Generated Images

The new feature, discovered by WABetaInfo in WhatsApp beta version 2.24.14.13, allows users to generate AI images of themselves using a single selfie. This update utilizes the Meta AI Llama model to create varied images based on user prompts within the app. By typing “Imagine me…” in a Meta AI chat or “@Meta AI imagine me…” in any other chat, users can instruct the AI to generate images of themselves in different scenarios.

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This feature is not just for fun; it offers practical applications as well. For instance, users can create professional-looking headshots for their WhatsApp profile pictures without the need for a professional photo session. The AI can visualize users in diverse settings, from a serene forest to the vastness of outer space, making it a versatile tool for personal and creative expression.

Privacy Concerns and User Control

While the feature sounds exciting, it raises questions about privacy. According to reports, only Meta’s AI will be able to read the commands used to generate images, ensuring that no one else can create images of a user without their permission. Users must opt-in to use this feature, providing them with control over their participation. Additionally, the images used for setup can be deleted at any time through Meta’s AI settings, giving users further control over their data.

Comparisons and Future Prospects

This new feature draws parallels with YouTube’s “Dream Screen,” which uses text prompts to create AI-generated images and videos for Shorts. Both platforms are leveraging AI to enhance user creativity and interaction. However, WhatsApp’s focus on personalized images sets it apart, potentially redefining how users engage with the app.

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Currently, the feature is available to users in the beta program, which is full at the moment. There is no official word on when or if this feature will be rolled out to the general public. WhatsApp continues to innovate, aiming to integrate AI in ways that enhance user experience while maintaining privacy and security.