The new Lensa AI feature ‘Magic Avatars’ is causing concerns over copyright, privacy and ethics, Google fixes Chrome’s most annoying feature and the government delays its ad ban on junk food because it’s the government.

December 11, 2023



 The new Lensa AI feature ‘Magic Avatars’ is causing concerns over copyright, privacy and ethics, Google fixes Chrome’s most annoying feature and the government delays its ad ban on junk food because it’s the government.

Debate over top app Lensa AI

It may be baltic outside, but the chill running up society’s spine is coming from a new trend.

You’ve probably seen it. The creepy, AI generated images all over social media? That’s Lensa’s new feature, ‘Magic Avatars’, which creates AI generated, digital alter egos of people. Pop, fairy princess, anime, cyber punk. You name it. 

And the appeal of visualising oneself as a mystical character has landed Lensa at the top of the charts in the Apple and Google app. According to a report by Sensor Tower, over 4 million people worldwide downloaded the app during the first five days of December, spending over $8 million.

But the only thing magical about the app is the trickery.

Now the novelty is wearing off, a lot of people are worried about the implications of its rise, as well as what it has already done to get there.

Starting with creative theft. Magic Avatars is powered by an AI generator called Stable Diffusion – a text-to-image app that is trained to learn patterns through an online database of billions of images - and artists say it’s taking their work without their permission, and then failing to credit or reimburse them.

There’s also the question of ethics. The app obviously can’t tell right from wrong and can be easily tricked into churning out erotic stylizations of whatever images it gets fed. Technology researcher Olivia Snow went as far as using her own childhood photos to demonstrate that Lensa has no qualms about sexualizing images of children.

Then there’s the glaring issue of privacy and how Lensa is using a user’s personal data, including using the 10-20 selfies uploaded as part of the feature.

So maybe stick with your original ego?

Google fixes Chrome’s biggest problem

Big news.

Chrome has worked on itself to become less annoying.

The web browser has been updated with two new features that cut down on memory usage and extend your laptop’s battery life, according to Google.

The first new feature, called Memory Saver, is designed to reduce the amount of memory Chrome’s tabs use. It does this by freeing up memory from inactive tabs, and putting them to sleep so they can’t monopolise your system’s resources. When you need to access the tabs again, they will be reloaded and become active. 

The second feature, called Energy Saver, is designed to help your laptop battery last longer, but in a pretty interesting way. When your battery drops to 20%, Chrome will try to prolong your battery life by “limiting background activity and visual effects for websites with animations and videos.”

Both Memory Saver and Energy Saver will be launched globally over the next few weeks and are coming to Chrome on Windows, macOS, and ChromeOS.

Fast food keeps its air time

The government has delayed plans for a ban on junk food advertising ahead of the 9pm watershed.

The ad ban for foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) was originally due to come into force from January 2023, but has been pushed back both by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson and by current PM Rishi Sunak. It will now not come into effect until 2025.

Leading figures in the ad industry have welcomed the delay, arguing that the ban is not the silver bullet people are hoping it will be.

“Evidence shows that restrictions of this kind would make no difference to child obesity levels. Rather than reach for bans and watersheds, the government should think about targeted intervention, promotion of food education and investment in physical activity which would truly move the dial,” said ISBA’s director-general Phil Smith.

To which health groups and campaigners have retorted, ‘what a load of junk’.

They fear that the delay will impact the longer-term health of kids, give them a worse chance of growing up healthy and will continue to push people living in the most deprived areas towards unhealthy options, further entrenching the health inequalities, among other things.

Now that’s what you called a food fight. (terrible, but worth it).

Ready to start?

Get in touch