Image by Within Health

An artificially intelligent (AI) tool has revealed exactly how celebrities have been Photoshopped on magazine covers.

Within Health, a digital service for people suffering with eating disorders, used an AI-powered tool known as a FAL Detector on magazine photos of Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie among others.

In a blog post published last month, Within Health shows how celebrity faces are routinely warped in commercial photos and the increasingly unrealistic representations of beauty in the media.

Developed by Adobe Research and UC Berkley, the AI-powered tool known as a FAL Detector was trained on images that have been warped using Adobe’s “Face-Aware Liquify” feature on Photoshop.

Image by UC Berkeley/Adobe Research

The Face-Aware Liquify setting is one of Photoshop’s most powerful tools for manipulating a person’s facial features in an image.

When the FAL Detector is used on a photo of an individual, it produces a heat map of the locations of the subject’s face where this tool has been used. The closer to the color red on the heat map, the more manipulation of the image exists at that particular location.

In some cases, the FAL Detector also attempts to “fix” the image. The AI tool reverses the use of the Face-Aware Liquify feature on the photo and shows what the original photo looked like before it was manipulated.

Using the FAL Detector, Within Health examined 20 magazine covers featuring Aniston with a close shot of her face. The FAL Detector picked up clear use of the Face-Aware Liquify Photoshop tool in 50% of the images. The most commonly edited parts of Aniston’s face were her jaw, chin, and lower lip.

Within Health also used the FAL Detector on 20 magazine covers featuring Jolie and discovered that the Face-Aware Liquify tool had also been used on 50% of her photos. The most frequently edited parts of Jolie’s face were her jaw, lower lip, and the corners of her mouth.

Within Health writes that Aniston and Jolie “have long been regarded as some of the most beautiful women of our time.”

“And yet the truth is those regarded as ‘perfect,’ still don’t meet the bar of perfection for those that seek to use their images.”

Within Health, which offers virtual treatment for people suffering from eating disorders, adds that the FAL detector “could provide a much-needed weapon in the fight against the increasingly unrealistic portrayals of beauty in media and marketing.”

PetaPixel previously reported on commercial photographer Caroline Ross who has become a TikTok star educating the internet on how to spot if a celebrity image is Photoshopped.

Ross went viral on social media last year when she exposed how Kim Kardashian warped her body in an Instagram post.


Image credits: All photos sourced from Within Health.



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