The images of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were created using effects app FaceApp, which allows the user to transform faces caught on camera using a wide range of filters. The developers describe the process as using “artificial intelligence” and “neural face transformations” to do the job.
Instagram account @DianaFanatic, which is run by an anonymous user from Spain, used the technology to morph the faces of a number of royals.
The edited pictures returned mixed messages from fans, with some claiming they were just “too weird” to look at.
However, others saw the bright side of the prank and joked that the Duke of Cambridge was “more attractive” as a woman.
One Instagram user commented: “This is great!! Thanks for the laugh:!”, and another wrote: “Funny… Wow Kate looks handsome as a man.”
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There have been many concerns raised over the safety and security of FaceApp, which requires access to camera rolls.
FaceApp is allowed to use your name, username “or any likes provided” in any media format without compensation.
Additionally, people do not have the option to take the post down or complain about it, reports the MailOnline.
It will also not compensate users for using their material and will retain the image even when you delete the app.
FaceApp founder Yaroslav Goncahrov told Forbes that user data is not transferred to Russia, where the app was created, and that “most of the photo processing is in the cloud”.
Mr Goncahrov added: “We only upload a photo selected by a user for editing. We never transfer any other images from the phone to the cloud.
“We might store an uploaded photo in the cloud. The main reason for that is performance and traffic: we want to make sure that the user doesn’t upload the photo repeatedly for every edit operation.
“Most images are deleted from our servers within 48 hours of the upload date, and we don’t sell or share any user data with any third parties.”