Jenka Gurfinkel discusses the appearance of the American smile in AI-generated images and its implications in interpreting data:
Every American knows to say “cheese” when taking a photo, and, therefore, so does the AI when generating new images based on the pattern established by previous ones. But it wasn’t always like this. More than a century after the first photograph was captured, a reference to “cheesing” for photos first appeared in a local Texas newspaper in 1943. “Need To Put On A Smile?” the headline asked, “Here’s How: Say ‘Cheese.’” The article quoted former U.S. ambassador Joseph E. Davies who explained that this influencer photo hack would be “Guaranteed to make you look pleasant no matter what you’re thinking […] it’s an automatic smile.” Davies served as ambassador under Franklin D. Roosevelt to the U.S.S.R.
My natural face is generously non-smiley, so this resonated.