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The irony behind FaceApp: will we survive the next 50 years?

By Maeve Campbell
Published on Updated
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The viral social media app showing us the unsettling reality of what our future will hold...


It’s the app that went viral in a matter of hours, using AI technology to show us exactly what the future looks like, or to be specific, what we will look like. In brief, FaceApp allows you to upload a photo of yourself, to then edit it in any way you like to make you look older, younger, or even to swap gender. It’s an advanced artificial intelligence app with the ability to adjust your facial features significantly, airbrushing any blemishes, changing your hair colour, and applying make up to your face. FaceApp was extremely popular around two years ago, before it crashed due to a controversy around the app offering the choice to adjust your skin colour. The selfie filters were labelled as racist, as they lightened skin tones, and that saw the end of the app’s popularity for a few years to come.

This week, FaceApp is back with a bang, and it quite literally has gone viral with more than 100 million people having downloaded the App from Google Play to envisage themselves in the future. FaceApp is now the top ranked App on iTunes.

But what can this new trend teach us about the state of our climate emergency? By making us age by 50 years, it shows us what we will look like in 2070. This begs the question, will we even be here by then? Will we survive in the face of environmental calamity?

According to Extinction Rebellion...

“We are facing an unprecedented global emergency. Life on Earth is in crisis: scientists agree we have entered a period of abrupt climate breakdown, and we are in the midst of a mass extinction of our own making.”

Despite the popularity of the Face App #agechallenge, there is much speculation about the app, including criticisms as to the legitimacy of the technology, and rumours of Russian leaks stealing our data. But more importantly, when it comes to the environment, is this the reminder we really need about the state of our earth? Let’s just hope we’re still here by the time we really look like that!

We've compiled the funniest and best tweets following the resurrection of the social media app:











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