With the Lensa app, small works of art can be created from a handful of selfies using artificial intelligence. The smart application is also widely used in the games scene, and there is a veritable flood of AI images on social media. However, the hype surrounding Lensa also has a downside. Experts are sounding the alarm, especially when it comes to data protection – and copyright law also seems to be anything but good at Lensa. 

A hype has arisen around the comic-like AI photos: In addition to the countless images that are now circulating on the Internet, the question of the name of the app keeps cropping up: Lensa from Prisma Labs is a program for Android and iOS that is known as a Image editor is touted. The user ratings are good on average, many have fun trying it out. Experts, on the other hand, see the use of the app much more critically. 

Lensa – actually an old shoe

The Lensa app is not new to the market – the program has been available for around four years. A hype only arose because of the new avatar function. With the help of artificial intelligence, users can create real "selfie works of art" with just a few clicks. The app has to be fed with a handful of selfies, after which it takes almost half an hour and Lensa spits out some impressive image results. This is by no means always the case - there are also completely botched image examples on the Internet - and it is also not entirely harmless, if you believe the data protection experts. The central problem: Lensa demands quite extensive rights to the content uploads in its terms of use. 

The company behind the application can use the images just as freely as the users themselves. Especially in combination with third-party content, this becomes a potential threat to personal rights. Whether the uploaded content can be uploaded at all - and whether it can be "processed" from a legal point of view - is not checked. Upload photos of other people to Lensa? No problem. That's where the problem ultimately lies. 

It's not the only one. Lensa also has copyright concerns. Because: the app uses the freely available AI image creator "Stable Diffusion". For the artificial intelligence training process, it was fed with hundreds of millions of images – including works by real artists. At Lensa, you can be paid for the service of practicality. If you want avatars, you have to pay. And the results are sometimes absurd, some of which even contain the original signatures of the artists with whose works Stable Diffusion previously learned.  

Avatars cost money

The avatar feature costs an average of four euros. You can download the app for free and then use a seven-day trial subscription. After that, the features of the program are also chargeable. 

The hype surrounding the colorful little pictures on the Internet therefore undoubtedly has its downsides. According to several user and media reports, they even go as far as sexism. Especially with users – or at least with uploaded images of women – results sometimes show sexualized avatar images. Prisma Labs has already indicated that they want to improve it. This is urgently needed, because due to the combination of inadequate control of the image sources, adult images can also be created by complete strangers – without consent. 

As impressive as the technical possibilities of artificial intelligence may be, the completely uncritical consumption, which is fueled by real hype, is a weakness. With the current explosion of copyright problems, a lack of control mechanisms and the possibility of violations of personal rights, including forms and sexualization, it will probably only be a matter of time before the courts will have to deal with the issue. 

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Last updated on 8.03.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API