AI's 'ideal body type' sparks debate across social media

AI's 'ideal body type' sparks debate across social media
Understanding growing artificial intelligence technology

As we now know, artificial intelligence has a mind of its own – and now it's dictating what the 'ideal body type' is.

A recent study by The Bulimia Project asked AI software Dall-E 2, Stable Diffusion, and Midjourney to design what social media would consider the perfect man and woman.

Inevitably, the results were largely "unrealistic" and couldn't be more distorted if they tried. And it goes without saying, the so-called "perfect" person does not exist.

When it came to women, the AI images swayed towards blonde hair, brown eyes and olive skin. AI-generated men, however, had a bias towards brown hair, brown eyes and olive skin.

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The Bulimia Project

The string of images soon went viral across social media, and it didn't take long for users to chime in on AI's "problematic" take, with one writing: "The male look is actually very unhealthy."

Another joked: "So, AI is basically a 14-year-old boy with no friends?"

A third added: "So I need to look like I'm made of wax?"

Many more slammed the software's racial bias, with the vast majority being Caucasian.

"How is AI already racist?" One person asked while another said: "So the AI is also racist. I am shocked."

The Bulimia Project said: "Considering that social media uses algorithms based on which content gets the most lingering eyes, it's easy to guess why AI's renderings would come out more sexualised.

"But we can only assume that the reason AI came up with so many oddly shaped versions of the physiques it found on social media is that these platforms promote unrealistic body types, to begin with."

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