TikTok is reportedly testing a new feature that gives users AI-generated avatars of themselves.
The feature was first spotted by Matt Navara, a technology industry analyst known for uncovering up-and-coming features before they are announced. Navara shared his discovery in a Twitter thread.
According to screenshots provided by Navara, the “AI avatar” feature lets users upload three to ten photos of themselves, and after a few minutes it will spit out several avatars in different art styles.
Users can then choose to download either one or a few of the AI avatars. One downside of this feature, however, is that it is only available for use once per day. When uploading your photos, TikTok will also show a message cautioning users that photos must comply with its community guidelines.
“Photos you upload will be moderated by our content moderation systems,” the message reads.
TikTok also clarifies that it deletes all uploaded images “immediately after the avatars are generated.”
This new “AI avatar” feature is reminiscent of Lensa AI, an AI art generator app that enjoyed a brief moment of virality amongst social media users last year. For AU$4.99 per month, users upload photos of themselves onto the platform to create between 50 to 100 AI-generated avatars of themselves.
While many had fun with Lensa AI, the app also drew criticism from some for allegedly scraping from established artists’ works without obtaining prior consent in order to train its algorithm.
AI everything, everywhere
TikTok is the latest social media app to join the hype surrounding all things AI, the popularity of which has been driven largely by ChatGPT. Last week, Snapchat rolled out a new feature called “My AI” that lets users talk to an AI-powered assistant chatbot that runs on OpenAI’s GPT-4 model.
TikTok confirmed with The Verge that its AI avatar feature is “an experiment available in select regions.” The company has yet to confirm in which regions the feature is being tested. It also stopped short of revealing a global rollout date.