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September 8, 2017

The Future Hybrid of Beauty and AI

Written By Nikki McCaig

Over the years, artificial intelligence has spun in a constant stream of evolution. From starting small, with simple coding structures and basic computer actions, to fully active and communicative interfaces, AI has interlocked itself with numerous industries across the world, and is only looking to go further. With the rise of beauty influencers and startups matching the AI pace of evolution, the two industries are set to overlap in a large way in the future, with several examples of Beauty/AI crossovers already making news headlines.

But what exactly does the future of AI Beauty hold?

AI and Cosmetics

The lucrative field of Cosmetics is looking to be the next big beauty branch to interact with artificial intelligence. Global cosmetics brand Sephora has already begun the intersections through their ‘Virtual Artist Tool’, implementing an AI system designed to show customers just how Sephora products will look on their skin. Similarly the ‘You Cam Make Up’ app runs on a programme matching foundation shades to consumer palettes, using AI to predict just how well a beauty product will suit your skin tone.

In the era of digital beauty influencers, the potential for tech/cosmetic collaborations is rapidly becoming a reality, and with big brands like Smashbox,L’Oreal and Rimmel already working with VR/AR, the world won’t have to wait too long to see further developments. The best example of this is Roller’s own beauty brand development BOD, or Body on Demand – a beauty businesses developed through technology. 

AI and Skincare

Much like Smashbox and L’Oreal, big name brand Olay is the latest in the skincare sector to venture into AI interfaces for their consumers. The Olay Skin Advisor was created to help users better understand the different needs and categories of their skin, and encourage them to use the right products for the right pigments and pores.  

But the opportunities for future production are a little more niche than the cosmetic industry, as diagnostic qualities are, for now, the most lucrative function of a skincare based AI.

A Bump in the Road?

In the most recent news headlines relating to AI, a story has emerged describing the supposed ‘discrimination’ of an AI bot that was built to judge a beauty pageant. Programmed to recognise facial symmetry and particular features of beauty in women, it selected five faces that were the ‘most beautiful’ out of a selection. Controversially, however, the faces all belonged to white women, and lacked the significant diversity of standard pageant procedure.

Whilst this instance was put down to the unconscious bias’ of the programmer, other instances of less-than-PC artificial intelligence have been listed from sites such as Microsoft and FaceApp, with their systems eventually being shut down and removed. In the instance of Microsoft, an AI Twitter bot designed to draft tweets based on the content it assimilated released a series of racist and sexist posts to the shocked public.

So perhaps there is still room for improvement when it comes to perfecting AI for the beauty industries. But with some successful collaborations already underway, we predict it won’t be long before the future of beauty and AI is ready for action.

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