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Gradient app is popularity phenomenon but requires care

We are definitely in the age of apps that, based on machine learning techniques, do all sorts of clowning with their faces and, in breaking, bring a dose of polymics into their workings. We already had the infamous FaceApp case, which yielded a fine millionaire Apple and Google, and we saw the Chinese app from deepfakes Zao turn fever in the Wall. Now the ball is called Gradient.

You have certainly seen a friend or famous person using the app on social media: Gradient creates those montages showing with which celebrity do you look like, with a kind of "gradual transition" between you and your famous Russia.

The app went viral quickly in app stores around the world, and in just over a week (since the similar celebrity feature was updated and significantly improved), saw more than 1 million downloads only on Google Play and probably a similar number on the App Store, although Apple doesn't disclose that data.

As with the above applications, Gradient is based on machine learning techniques in their operation and also has its share of privacy uncertainties.

The app was created by an unknown developer called Ticket To The Moon Inc., which does not have any other apps in its catalog and shares a physical address (in the state of Delaware, USA) with a Chinese investment firm, Meihua Capital Partners. In terms of use, Gradient states that “it does not appropriate the content you upload or edit through the service”, which means that, at least at first, those responsible for the app will not use your photos and personal information; Cookies and usage data, however, may be shared to third parties and advertisers.

What requires more care when it comes to Gradient is actually in the business model. The app has a lot of editing features, but most of them (including the "celebrity comparator" who went viral) are only accessible by a subscription that costs R $ 16 monthly or $ 78 per year; By uploading one of your photos, the app will notify you of this detail and invite you to try the service for three days for free.

The danger lies: To enable the trial period, you need to provide your credit card information (through the Apple or Google infrastructure). If you do not remember to unsubscribe within three days, the monthly amount starts to be charged to your card, and it is no use deleting the app to cancel your link; You need to specifically remember to go to the Gradient settings and end the testing period.

This is the kind of information that in most cases need not be remembered, as users who hire online services are often aware of these issues. On the other hand, when we are talking about an app downloaded by all kinds of users (including kids and teenagers), it is good that these details are propagated by a so that no one is illegally engorged or spend money.

Gradient Photo Editor app icon

Stay tuned! 😳

via The Independent