President’s Message – December 15, 2022

Protect Your Image

Hello ACTRA members,

In this fast-paced digital world, new programs, software and apps have advanced creative capabilities in our industry. However, there is another side to these developments that’s worth shining a light on.
Recently, many new apps, most of which are easily accessible on our personal devices, are using powerful Artificial Intelligence (AI) to manipulate and harvest images. These apps are marketed as fun and artistic ways to promote ourselves, which can then be voluntarily shared on social media platforms.
To use these apps, one must upload a photo of themselves for the technology to then be manipulated into several different stylized images. While this seems harmless on the surface, the problem is what happens with these original images afterwards.
Many of these apps, including the recently popular AI-selfie generator Lensa, have language in the terms and conditions of their privacy policy that are alarming. They detail how the images that users submit to generate selfie creations can later be used by Prisma AI, Lensa’s parent company, to help train their AI’s neural network.
These networks used by Lensa and other similar applications on the market study huge amounts of data, including these images, to improve the abilities of their AI products and to build marketable libraries aimed at our industry in particular. One look at Video Games and the use of CGI technology in film and television proves that this practice is well under way.
As ACTRA members, we know all too well about the importance of protecting and promoting ourselves. Our images should never become the test subjects for any technology company to use however they wish.
We caution against using apps such as Lensa and others like it which save and manipulate your image for their own purposes. There is no reason to gamble away your personal image. We encourage you to carefully read and understand the policies of these apps before agreeing to use them.
Your rights, your images and your livelihood are worth protecting.

In solidarity,
Eleanor Noble
ACTRA National President