AI Determines The ‘Ideal Body Type’ For All Social Media – Here’s What It Looks Like


May 16, 2023 | 4:55 a.m

Artificial intelligence has its own idea of ​​what the ideal human body should look like.

A new study by the Bulimia Project, a website in Brooklyn, New York that publishes content and research related to eating disorders, looked at how AI perceives the “ideal” body based on social media data.

The results, which were produced by AI-generated imaging tools such as Dall-E 2, Stable Diffusion and Midjourney, showed “unrealistic” body structures at scale, as reported in a discussion of the results on the Bulimia Project website.

Forty percent of the overall photos depict “unrealistic” body types of muscular men and women—37% for women and 43% for men—according to the study.

For women, AI-generated images seem to lean toward blonde hair, brown eyes, and olive skin.

More than half (53%) of all images of women created to depict their “ideal body type” included olive skin.

For men, the AI-generated images showed a bias towards brown hair, brown eyes, and olive skin.

Sixty-seven percent of all photos of men with an “ideal body type” included brown hair, and 63% had olive skin.

Sixty-seven percent of all photos of men with an “ideal body type” included brown hair, and 63% had olive skin.
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In addition, 47% of the photos of the men included facial hair.

The Bulimia project drew its results by dealing with different AI systems with two mentors.

The first vector — the “‘ideal’ female body according to the social mean in 2023” — generated a wide variety of female body types, but showed a clear preference for slimmer women with well-proportioned muscles.

The second vector — the “‘ideal’ male body, according to a social median in 2023” — did the same, creating images of men with perfectly symmetrical muscles.

The study revealed: “Smaller women appeared in almost all images created by Dall-E 2, Stable Diffusion and Midjourney, but the latter came up with the most unrealistic depictions of the female body.”

The AI’s first claim – for the “ideal female body” according to the social median in 2023 – generated a variety of female body types with a clear preference for thin, muscular women.
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“The same can be said for the male physiques I’ve created, all of which look like photoshopped versions of bodybuilders.”

The study broadens the scope beyond social media, prompting AI tools to create images of the “perfect ‘woman in 2023’ and the ‘perfect’ man in 2023”.

The results showed greater diversity in skin, hair, and eye color as well as race, although the photos still depicted traditionally “fit” individuals.

The study compared how images inspired by social media were more sexualized and “disturbing,” in terms of disproportionate body parts, than perceptions inspired by artificial intelligence.

“Given that social media uses algorithms based on which content gets the most attention, it’s easy to guess why AI images appear sexier,” the study concluded.

“But we can only assume that the reason the AI ​​created the many bizarre body shapes it found on social media is because these platforms promote unrealistic body types to begin with.”

The study noted that in the age of filters on photo apps like Snapchat and Instagram, “no one can reasonably meet the physical standards set by social media.”

The Bulimia Project study was launched in response to the stark impact of social media on children’s mental health, which can be a source of body image issues, according to the study.

Experts say the idealization of body types on social media has an undeniable effect on adults, too.

James Campegoto, a data journalist in Deerfield, Florida who worked on the Bulimia Project study, told Fox News Digital in an interview that this study was designed to explore the biases and potential dangers of AI.

Campegotto noted that some of the results were deemed “unrealistic” in terms of body type by straying “far” from what is “obtainable” by the average person.

One expert said the study exposed the biases that exist in AI, warning users to “take everything with a grain of salt.”
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“This is possible [negatively impact] “Pictures of the body of individuals,” he said.

He added, “You can be someone who’s doing all the right things, eating right and exercising consistently…and still not achieving these very strange images, which can be very frustrating and affect someone’s self-image.”

Campegoto said he was very surprised by the lack of diversity in the offerings inspired by social media.

He said most of the male photos showed a chiseled stomach and a “Superman-like” physique – which he thinks could be related to a lack of conversation surrounding male body positivity.

A new study looked at how artificial intelligence perceives the “ideal” human body based on social media data – and it shows “unrealistic” body images on a massive scale.
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“I think men struggle with this idea just as much, if not the same way, as women — this idea of ​​body image [and] What does it mean to have a body to be proud of?

The findings of the study are “not surprising,” artificial intelligence expert Joe Toscano, founder of data technology firm Mach9 in Omaha, Nebraska, told Fox News Digital, because the Internet “is all about what gets clicked on the most.”

“These systems do not make decisions based on ‘reasoning,'” he said in a statement. “They make these decisions based on what is already there and the indicators that have been coded into the system to determine what is best.”

Because AI poses a potential threat to self-esteem and body image, Campegoto said the study also revealed the biases that exist in AI, warning users to “take everything with a grain of salt.”

He said, “Keep in mind that everything that is created is affected by a certain perspective and a certain bias.”

Taking social media influencers as an example, Campegoto explained that they are a “minority group” who should not be representative of the public image.

Instead, he said, “Try to compare yourself to the version of yesterday and less to everything that’s going on around you,” he said.

“Adjust your perspective to focus only on yourself.”

Mach 9’s Toscano added that certain type of AI use would only “accelerate levels of mental illness and body shame”.

“I used to compare myself to my peers locally, but now kids compare themselves to the things that are most popular online, and that means that instead of comparing yourself to one in 1,000 or even 10,000 people, you’re comparing yourself to the ‘best’ in the world – which makes those standards even more remote. elusive.”

“In addition, there is no way to know what has been introduced and what has not been presented at present,” Toscano said.

“There is no way to know who has had plastic surgery or not at the present time.”

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