Why pay for headshots when A.I. can do it for free?
Professional headshots can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Instead of emptying their wallets, some Gen Zers and millennials on TikTok are using artificial intelligence to transform their selfies and iPhone photos into better looking images for LinkedIn and Slack profiles. Apps like generative A.I. photo enhancer Remini and tools like Canva’s Magic Edit are among the most used options.
Remini has taken TikTok by storm, with over 1.4 billion views associated with the #remini hashtag. Users are sharing their attempts using the app, and showing off the results. The top liked video by the user @GracesPlace garnered over 40.7 million views and 2.9 million likes in just four days.
Remini is free to download but requires a subscription to gain access to all of its features, including the tool TikTokers are using to create headshots. Some users took advantage of the free trial week while others were offered a trial week for 99 cents. The standard subscription costs $9.99 weekly.
Remini users start by uploading eight to 12 photos of themselves and selecting their gender. Then, they pick a “model image” that mimics the style and composition they want, with categories ranging from “casual” and “trendy” to “travel” and “curriculum.” The curriculum category features models in business attire.
Then the user can generate an A.I. headshot. It took nearly 20 minutes to generate the first round of images when Fortune tested the app, but a note at the bottom of the loading page read, “Don’t worry! The first time takes longer, the next will take less than 1 minute!”
TikTokers are also using Canva’s Magic Edit, a free A.I. tool, to edit out their otherwise casual or unprofessional outfits and backgrounds.
Flaws with A.I.-generated images
A.I. generated images were thrust into the limelight when an unexpected image of Pope Francis rocking a long, white Balenciaga-inspired puffer jacket spread online. People were even more shocked when they found out it was created by A.I.
Upon further inspection, signs that Pope Francis image was A.I.-generated were there all along: obscured or deformed hands, distorted details like jewelry, eyes, and glasses, to name a few.
Similarly, the headshots Remini and Canva produce are impressive, but they aren’t without flaws. With Remini, users’ skin can appear unnaturally smooth and airbrushed, and hands and finer details can be distorted.
Some users have also accused the A.I. of being “fatphobic” as it edited their bodies to be thinner. The TikTok user @northstarnotes posted a video of her A.I. headshots with the caption, “The viral AI headshot filter made me about 105lbs and just…its bad.”
One user replied in the comments saying, “No SAME it made me lose 50lbs and I was like ummm no thanks.”
Remini did not immediately respond to Fortune’s request for comment.