Sometimes the best of images get ruined by unwanted people accidentally photobombing your well-curated shot. At times, these things can’t be helped no matter how long you wait for the person/people to move out of the frame. Even at the best of times and no matter the hour, unwanted people appearing in your shots are all but a guarantee. Now, an app has come to the rescue for all the misanthropes out there and we feel that it hasn’t come soon enough.
Bye Bye Camera, an art project by the good people at Do Something Good has developed an app that simply removes all humans from images you capture. This app has been launched by an artist who goes by the title ‘Damjanski’ and his art collective Do Something Good.
Detailing this app, Damjanski states, “I’ve created this project together with two of my longtime collaborators, Andrej and Pavel, from Russia. A couple of years ago I created a collective called Do Something Good where I connected all the people I’ve collaborated with online. By now we’re 16 people around the world from different fields and collaborate on different projects. The app takes out the vanity of any selfie and also the person. I consider Bye Bye Camera an app for the post-human era. It’s a gentle nod to a future where complex programs replace human labor and some would argue the human race. It’s interesting to ask what is a human from an Ai (yes, the small “i” is intended) perspective? In this case, a collection of pixels that identify a person based on previously labeled data. But who labels this data that defines a person immaterially? So many questions for such an innocent little camera app.”
So how does Bye Bye Camera actually work? It works by combining functionality from an image recognition application called Yolo along with a neural network that analyzes the background and tries to re-imagine it.
While this feature has been available in several other apps, in Damjanski hands it is more of an artwork than a business model. For instance, other apps are used to make corrections while Bye Bye Camera simply erases everyone out!
Damjanski states, “A lot of friends asked us if we can implement the feature to choose which person to take out. But for us, this app is not an utility app in a classical sense that solves a problem. It’s an artistic tool and ultimately a piece of software art.”
TechCrunch puts it aptly by stating, “It’s a fun project (though the results are a mixed bag) and it speaks not only to the issues it supposedly raises about the nature of humanity, but also the accessibility of tools under the broad category of “AI” and what they can and should be used for.”
The app has been made available for USD 2.99 on the iOS App Store and as of writing it has garnered mostly negative reviews with many claiming that an update needs to be added or that their USD 3 have gone to waste.