Controversy Arises as AI-Generated 1990s Yearbook Photos Emerge, SAG-AFTRA Voices Concerns

Recreating the 1990s Aesthetic: The AI Yearbook Trend

An AI-generated photo trend has taken over the internet once again. This time, social media users are using Epik to transform their photos into various popular aesthetic styles from the 1990s. Epik allows users to choose from 60 different images and uses their submitted selfies to create the final result. While the app can be downloaded for free, access to the finished product comes at a cost ranging from $5.99 to $9.99.

From Trending on TikTok to Making Waves in the Entertainment Industry

The trend initially gained traction on TikTok, with popular digital creators like Bretman Rock and Hila Klein joining in. However, it quickly expanded beyond the platform and caught the attention of actors and actresses such as Keke Palmer and Cierra Ramirez. What started as a lighthearted trend soon sparked a discussion on the ethical implications of AI. With ongoing strikes in the entertainment industry, some felt that actors participating in AI trends crossed ethical boundaries.

The Changing Landscape of the Entertainment Industry

The advent of streaming services has not only revolutionized the way we consume television and film but has also transformed the financial landscape for actors, writers, directors, and crew members. SAG-AFTRA stands in solidarity with the WGA’s demands and has its own set of demands as well.

One of SAG-AFTRA’s key demands is the ownership of actors’ own likeness. Several studios have expressed intentions to use AI-generated versions of actors even after their death without seeking permission from their estates. The union is also advocating for increased minimum pay rates, improved streaming residuals to match rising inflation costs, and improved working conditions.

Social Media Reactions to AI Yearbookgate

The ethical implications of AI continue to be questioned across different domains. Chat GPT can now generate scripts and essays, voice generator programs can imitate musicians, and visual programs can replicate real faces and artist styles. These advancements have already caused concerns within the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, higher education institutions, and cases related to revenge porn. While technology enthusiasts work on regulating these new technologies, the importance of human workers remains a focal point.

While some SAG-AFTRA actors defended the seemingly harmless 1990s yearbook trend, others acknowledged the feedback they received and chose to remove their posts, including Cierra Ramirez.

  • sag actors are really out here doing that AI yearbook trend. you dumb dumbs do you not know what time it is? – Vincent Martella
  • not SAG actors doing the AI yearbook trend… babe – danielle weisberg for hire

Many believe that actors should refrain from participating in AI trends during the strike to ensure that their message resonates with major film studios.

it’s SO hypocritical cause wasn’t you complaining about this 2 months ago??? make it make sense – mmat

Furthermore, some individuals are advocating for people to stop partaking in viral AI trends, claiming that certain apps collect personal data and use it to further train the technology.

NBC reported that the parent company of Epik, SNOW Corporation, stated that “The EPIK app does not store any personal information, including selfies, that is used to create AI yearbook results.”

The SAG-AFTRA strike is still ongoing, and the union has confirmed that they are yet to meet with the AMTP.

Editor’s Notes

The AI yearbook trend has caused quite a stir in the entertainment industry and social media world alike. As AI technology continues to advance rapidly, questions surrounding ethics and privacy remain at the forefront. It is crucial to strike a balance between embracing these technological advancements and ensuring the protection of human workers’ rights. As we navigate this ever-changing landscape, it’s essential to stay informed and engage in meaningful conversations about the impact of AI on various aspects of our lives.

For more news and updates on AI trends and advancements, visit GPT News Room.

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