Both Meitu (美图) — the app that made millions of human faces poreless, pale and impossibly perfect — and e-commerce platform Alibaba have now dipped a toe into “beauty 2.0.”
The former just launched the MeituKey Skin Analyzer, an AI-powered device that evaluates users’ skin, gives them personalized skincare recommendations, and — despite appearances — seemingly has nothing to do with making contact with alien life forms.
The MeituKey Skin Analyzer
Also not included: mind control, mind reading, powering the jump to hyperspace, or opening the pod bay doors. The 998 RMB, egg-shaped device is (sadly) only capable of detecting skin-related problems and making personalized recommendations, at least according to Meitu.
Forgotten Planets: Exploring China’s Long-Running Sci-Fi Film Tradition
Meanwhile, Alibaba has teamed up with L’Oréal for a similar app that utilizes AI to give personalized treatments for acne. (The app’s name, “Effaclar Spotscan,” is at least deserving of an expensive film franchise.) A spokesperson from L’Oréal is quoted as saying the brand used over 6,000 customer photos to train the technology, which analyzes “selfies” to determine acne types. The app will be launched on Alibaba-owned e-commerce platforms Tmall and Taobao in China next month before being rolled out globally.
Alibaba’s Smart Speaker is Learning Dialects
Both companies claim that the opportunity to use AI in skincare arises from a question of access. Effective skincare depends largely on personalized recommendations — which would normally come from a dermatologist or a high-end makeup counter — and China has a shortage of these services for its sizeable population.
Chinese Model’s Freckled Face Divides Netizens
All images: Meitu
We highlight our top stories each week in an email newsletter that goes out every Monday - hot, fresh, and straight to your inbox.
Don't worry, we don't spam
Thousands of earthlings have signed up for our newsletter, and you should do the same