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Viral ‘AI yearbook’ trend allows people to create nostalgic high-school photos from any era


Now everyone can be the coolest kid in school.

Using artificial intelligence, people are turning themselves into nostalgic high school personas in a new and already-viral “AI yearbook” trend.

Social media users have tried out AI-powered platforms such as the EPIK AI photo editor, which allows people to turn a modern photo of themselves into what looks like a yearbook portrait from any era (the 1990s has been the most popular).

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TikTok influencers such as Olivia Dunne and Joe Mele have also used these apps to transform themselves into classic high-school tropes like the jock, the nerd, the rebel, the popular kid and other stereotypes.

“Never took senior pics ’cause I was homeschooled … so here ya go,” Dunne wrote in the caption of her video posted on Wednesday.

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A 1990s-style cheerleader is one of the AI-generated images (not pictured) in the EPIK app. (iStock)

#AIyearbook has nearly 255 million views on TikTok, with thousands of users giving the generative AI feature a try.

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AI expert Dr. Harvey Castro described the trend as a “lighthearted and innovative application of AI technology.”

“Whether creating nostalgic images or aiding in medical diagnoses, AI technologies must be developed and utilized thoughtfully, considering their potential impact, limitations and ethical implications.”

“It provides a stark contrast yet an interesting comparison to the more critical and life-impacting applications of AI in health care,” he said.

Castro is an emergency medicine physician in Coppell, Texas, as well as a consultant and speaker on AI and ChatGPT in health care.

yearbook photos

The EPIK AI photo editor allows people to turn a modern photo into what looks like a yearbook portrait from any era of the user’s choice. (Note: Images shown here are not AI-generated.) (iStock)

Castro noted AI’s growing versatility, as applications like EPIK create “diverse and personalized visual content” compared to the function of AI-powered systems in other sectors.

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“In health care, AI is used for crucial tasks like drug discovery, early disease detection and medical record summarization, showcasing the technology’s versatility and wide-ranging applications,” he said.

Artificial Intelligence words

An expert warned that the AI yearbook trend should ensure “ethical use” and avoid “perpetuating stereotypes or creating potentially offensive images.” (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo)

Castro also warned that the AI yearbook trend should ensure “ethical use” — and avoid “perpetuating stereotypes or creating potentially offensive images.”

“The AI Yearbook trend should ensure that the technology is inclusive and can generate respectful and accurate images for all users,” he said.

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“In both playful applications like the AI Yearbook trend and critical applications in health care, the ethical use, transparency and responsible implementation of AI are paramount,” Castro went on.

“Whether creating nostalgic images or aiding in medical diagnoses, AI technologies must be developed and utilized thoughtfully, considering their potential impact, limitations and ethical implications,” he told Fox News Digital. 

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The EPIK app is free to download, but in order to generate your AI yearbook photo, you’ll need to pay via an in-app purchase. 

The app’s App Store listing says AI yearbook photo packages can cost up to $9.99.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.



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