Unrealised potential of the Faceapp : The power of AI and a must read for people in the beauty industry!

Need I say that my thoughts about technology are well informed? As an IBM Scholar, I find it very alarming that the general people of South Africa have to be such late bloomers even in mobile application technologies. Even when the wave finally hits, we fail to realize the potential for growth and get caught up on either the short-lived excitement or we raise the alarms in fear of technological developments. 

Take for instance the recent app that was making the rounds on social media, and has taken SA by a storm. We saw people traveling into the future and sneak peeking into what they would look like when they are old if they had a beard, and all sorts of things, others augmented their reality and even experienced how they would fart when they are old. I don’t mean to be a party pooper; that was fun for a while.

Yes, you know it! The faceapp. For those who don’t know, it is a mobile application for iOS and Android developed by Russian company Wireless Lab which uses artificial intelligence (machines working together with humans to enhance their expertise through the knowledge of data) to generate highly realistic transformations of faces in photographs. The app can transform a face to make it smile, look younger, look older, or change gender among other capabilities.

Most people liked it, this is just a demonstration of what Artificial Intelligence is capable of doing, revolutionizing the human experience and splashing people with clouds of excitement.

I have to voice my disappointment though, firstly, because people don’t read! Hence the aftermath, people are now scared that there might be some privacy violation that comes as a package of using the app.

Let me clear the air, the app is proprietary but it does not have access to your entire gallery, only the pictures you uploaded will be stored in the cloud and the app will have eternal access to them that’s all. David Phelan from Forbes also confirms this here.

My second disappointment is, I don’t understand why are we not hearing about headlines of some South African salon or barbershop that has capitalized on this technology and made serious money or better yet improved their customer experience. Only if I had a salon, I tell you!!

I mean, people can now know whether a certain hairstyle may or may not look good on them before they even do it! The app uses computer vision(CV), which is an API that can be customized to the needs of the makeup industry and you name it.

This would make beauticians execute their work more precisely and accurately and deliver a pleasant service to clients and boom! More and more clients. Someone once said, “The previous best experience becomes the minimum expectation for the next experience.”

Goodbye skin tone problems to makeup artists and hello revolution. This is a gift from me to those who will hear and execute. I am open to further questions and the implementation of the above-mentioned killer idea! In closing, read, seek opportunities within technological hypes and always seek to increase your Artificial Intelligence Quotient.

“Everyone who designs, initiates courses of actions aimed at changing existing solutions to preferred ones” Simon Herbet.


Sibusiso Jwanis Gama


Wits Graduate

President at Club Readership

Artificial Intelligence scholar at IBM Digital Nation

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