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    WhatsApp Beta to Introduce AI-Generated Profile Pictures

    What’s the news:

    WhatsApp Beta users won’t have to bother uploading new profile pictures in the future as the platform plans to introduce AI-generated photos of users on the app. As per a blog post on May 22, 2024, WhatsApp Beta is exploring a new feature that will give users the ability to “create unique and personalized images that reflect their personality, interests, or mood more accurately than a standard photo.”

    How will this new feature work?

    Users will give a prompt to the AI describing the kind of image they want. The AI will then create a custom profile photo based on the given information.

    The blog does not mention the name of the AI model that will be used for this feature. However, WhatsApp posted a detailed blog about Meta AI’s integration into its platform in April 2024.

    Feature to protect privacy but what about impersonation?

    WhatsApp Beta to Introduce AI-Generated Profile Pictures

    Regarding the feature’s impact on user privacy, WhatsApp Beta said, “In our opinion, this feature will enhance privacy for the user profile. By using AI-generated images, users will be able to avoid sharing real photos, which can reduce the risk of misuse or unauthorized sharing of their images, although the feature to prevent screenshots of profile photos already adds a layer of privacy for this situation. In addition, we believe this feature can be useful when users are unsure of which photo to use. Instead of spending time, searching for or taking the perfect picture, users can simply generate one by providing a prompt.”

    However, if profile pictures meant to recognize a user are to be replaced by AI-generated content, where’s the guarantee that there won’t be issues of impersonation?

    For example, a person may ask for a photo of a golden retriever dog playing with a ball in their prompt. Another person wishing to impersonate the first person may use the same or similar prompt of a dog and a ball. Will people then be expected to remember specific details of AI-generated photos like the actions of the dogs to differentiate between the users? And is this a practical tactic for the older folk who are often active on social media?

    Another example is what if a person uses a prompt asking for a photo resembling a popular personality like a singer or political leader. Such manipulation could lead to problems of impersonation or phishing.

    The blog mentioned that the feature is under development and will be available in a future update of the app. It will be interesting to see, what further measures the platform has taken to prevent the abovementioned issues.

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    The post WhatsApp Beta to Introduce AI-Generated Profile Pictures appeared first on MEDIANAMA.

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