As I stand in the noon sun staring at myself reflected in a sheet of glass, I can’t help but feel a twinge of surprise. For the face looking back at me is not my own. It belongs to an AI-generated me—one that reveals personality traits and my true self. It’s like something out of science fiction: Seeing, for the first time, my secret self revealed by artificial intelligence (AI).
After learning more about this revolutionary filtering technology, which uses machine learning algorithms to analyze data pulled from various sources like surveys and social media accounts, it’s easy to see why experts are so optimistic about its potential applications across multiple industries.
I wear glinting, futuristic armor and a headpiece that flares around my head like a divine avenger’s wings. Against a setting ablaze with colors, my hair – longer and much more radiant than its natural state – streaks outward. I am the Viking of the future.
Staring boldly at the camera, I feel an unfamiliar confidence radiating from my body. Examining my features, my nose appears slightly longer, and my brows are more arched. A wave of excitement washes over me as it dawns on me – I look strikingly similar to Michelle Yeoh!
The portrait of me made by AI is not accurate. It features an unrealistic application of smoothness on my facial features, along with blazing-orange sunsets and armor, which are not a part of me, further increased by the excessive use of sharpness and contrast.
The facial composition of this visage is not quite normal, creating an eerie sense of intrigue. Who would not be alarmed at the uncanny sight of a distorted self-representation?
I experienced a mix of curiosity and boredom, which is often the compelling reason behind online involvement. I ran my face through a famous AI effect called “AI Portrait” on TikTok. I sought to observe a supposed more magnificent variant of myself, an expectation frequently intertwined with AI portraits.
We expected flattery as we encountered our good representation, yet instead felt disorientation. Though it had nothing to do with reality, the portrait invoked accidental recognition as we came not looking for accuracy but only for flattery.
I possess few selfies in my camera roll, demonstrating a distinct lack of enthusiasm for studying my features. To elaborate further, I struggle to perceive myself genuinely, including facing those symmetrical mirrors typically used in exquisite restaurants instead of beaming cheerfully at the unknown person, still ignorant of the image is me.
When I glance in a shop window, the stranger beside me in the reflection is a surprise. Similarly, when viewing snapshots of myself, there is an internal discord that I have to trample down from exclaiming, “That’s not me” – as if I fully possess knowledge of what my face is.
Many of us may possess a warped view of our facial features – either believing them to be extra attractive or unattractively trollish than other people’s judgment. This feeling of discrepancy seems relatively ordinary and not rare in the slightest.
Our self-image is often out of line with reality, for it is pieced together from the various versions that have been before: preteen, experimental hair cuts and wedding preparation, etc.; all of these layers combine to form an image that may differ from our present one.
We may create an uncannily realistic perception of ourselves in our minds, which might mirror what artificial intelligence brings to our visuals. Therefore, the two may be similar in terms of our self-image.
The AI filter showed me what I value most is my ability to be a superhero. In my dreams, I am somebody who isn’t afraid to stand up for what’s right and fight against injustice. I’m brave and heroic, even if, in real life, I might not be those things. To see me through the lens of someone who is all of those things was powerful, and it’s something that I’ll carry with me always.