Create apocalyptic A.I. world with this camera app that removes people from pics

Do Something Good

What would that travel photo look like without tourists? How about that selfie without any “self,” or any photograph without any people, ever? A new app aims to make a statement about what the world would look like — literally  — if artificial intelligence replaced all the people. Bye Bye Camera is an iOS app that uses A.I. to nix the people from a photo.

While the app could have some real-world uses for when too many tourists enjoying the view ruin the actual view, Bye Bye Camera is an art project that aims to evoke questions about the growth of A.I. Designed by mononymous artist Damjanski and the art collective Do Something Good, the app looks at what a world without real intelligence may look like. Damjanski designed the app with two additional collaborators.

“I consider Bye Bye Camera an app for the post-human era,” Damjanski told Artnome. “It’s a gentle nod to a future where complex programs replace human labor and, some would argue, the human race. It’s interesting to ask what is a human from an Ai (yes, the small ‘i’ is intended) perspective? In this case, a collection of pixels that identify a person based on previously labeled data. But who labels this data that defines a person immaterially? So many questions for such an innocent little camera app.”

Bye Bye Camera starts by using A.I based on an existing platform called Yolo to recognize the people in the image. And the app only recognizes people, leaving dogs intact with their leashes suspended in the air. Once the app determines which pixels have people in them, a neural network looks at the rest of the image and uses that data to attempt to fill in the blanks left by removing the people.

While removing tourists from vacation photos is a common Photoshop process, Bye Bye Camera is more of a work of art than functional software. The app doesn’t currently allow users to save those edited photos. And while Photoshopping out tourists from photos uses multiple images to fill in the missing pieces, the app can’t see what’s really missing from the photo and may make some obvious edits on more complex backgrounds.

Bye Bye Camera isn’t Do Something Good’s first app as artwork either. The No Shutter App is an iOS camera app that brags about the big notch, lack of any sort of focus, and selfies that are always blurred everywhere.

Bye Bye Camera, available as an iOS app only, is currently in the App Store for a $2.99 download.

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