Ex-MZ CEO launches BeFake, an AI-based social media app


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Alias Applied sciences, an AI firm began by former Machine Zone CEO Kristen Garcia Dumont, has launched BeFake, a social media app for digital self-expression. It’s constructed on the catch phrase, “Why be actual if you might be faux?”

The app, now out there on each the App Retailer and Google Play, presents a refreshing different to the standard actuality portrayed on present social media platforms, stated Kristen Garcia Dumont, CEO of Alias Applied sciences, in an interview with GamesBeat.

BeFake, powered by Alias Applied sciences’ AI tech, offers customers with an attractive platform to amplify their presence on social media by unleashing their creativeness. By inputting textual content prompts, customers can rework themselves into charming augmented visuals, enabling them to vividly categorical their authenticity and discover the countless potentialities of their creativity past the constraints of the bodily world.

“BeFake represents a revolution in how we work together with social media and the rising presence of AI in our social circles,” stated Garcia Dumont. “It’s extra than simply an app; it’s an expressive outlet that empowers new methods of connecting with pals by way of AI-generated visuals. We imagine authenticity can shine by way of fantasy as a lot as actuality.”


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In distinction to the standard posts seen on conventional social media platforms, BeFake’s AI-generated content material is contemporary, partaking, and thought-provoking, she stated. The platform encourages a type of communication that stimulates customers’ creativeness, offering them with a brand new strategy to discover their id past bodily boundaries. Moreover, it serves as a welcoming introduction to AI prompting.

I’m gonna say this can be a faux man.

Dumont added, “I’m actually obsessed with breaking down the obstacles of human connection, and imagine we will use AI to democratize social media and scale back the stress, strain, and vulnerability many people really feel in posting. Whereas we imagine the motion to point out uncooked, real-life candids on-line was well-intentioned [like with BeReal], our thesis is kind of totally different. Folks need aspirational social media and to point out their greatest selves on-line, and BeFake lets customers simply make any second AI-augmented and share their creativity with pals.”

With its user-friendly interface, the BeFake app ensures a seamless and pleasing journey from creativeness to visualization. Customers are invited to affix the BeFake group, the place they will authentically categorical themselves by way of the act of “being faux.” By letting their creativeness run wild, customers grow to be an integral a part of the BeFake group.

BeFake really tries its hardest to make any second as magical as attainable so that you not have boring posts.


Kristen Garcia Dumont is CEO of BeFake.

Garcia Dumont beforehand served because the CEO of cell gaming big Machine Zone, maker of Sport of Struggle and Cell Strike.

Garcia Dumont helped lead the event and launch of two of probably the most worthwhile cell social video games globally, grossing in extra of $1 billion. Her cofounder Tracy Lane is the previous COO of MZ, the place she led group, moderation, compliance and platform partnerships.

AppLovin purchased the corporate for $600 million in 2020. After engineering that acquisition, Garcia Dumont began Alias Applied sciences about two years in the past. She spent that point assembling a group of a dozen folks, together with quite a lot of AI specialists, they usually developed the corporate’s AI fashions. The tech takes benefit of each laptop imaginative and prescient and generative AI.

“I dove proper in as a result of I knew I needed to do AI, and I knew we needed to only begin on our AI fashions as shortly as attainable,” she stated. “It’s humorous how generative AI is the factor now. Two years in the past, nobody was speaking about it. You appeared somewhat loopy, somewhat fringe.”

Reasonably than begin one other recreation firm, Garcia Dumont determined that she foresaw that AI would create not solely a technological shift, however a “humanity shift.”

Her guess was that “folks had been going to be interacting increasingly and extra ‘bots.’ However in a very regular, enjoyable and informal method. And if we could possibly be one of many first ones introducing AI in our social context, it could possibly be one thing actually particular as a result of we noticed the spark of that in gaming. And thought I used to be nuts two years in the past.”

The corporate bought began with laptop imaginative and prescient because the tech was extra superior and it was essential to generate photorealistic faux folks. All of the AI tech was slower then, however it has made enormous strides prior to now yr. The concept was to make use of the AI to create faux variations of individuals that may shock and delight them, Garcia Dumont stated.

She was considering of the day when folks would have AI boyfriends and girlfriends.

“Identical to we see in gaming, proper, it’s completely regular to be interacting with a personality. It doesn’t appear fairly a stretch to me in any respect to say that perhaps 50% or extra of our on-line interactions are going to begin to be with bots,” she stated. “And as bots get higher and higher at simulating and emulating human habits, language and feelings, they are going to be a really regular factor.”

Sure, Dean Takahashi climbed Mount Everest and bought this sunburn. Not.

And so marrying that AI and laptop imaginative and prescient with a social community turned the plan. When Secure Diffusion began taking off final yr, it sparked the thought to make it much more enjoyable and simple to make use of. As a type of bot, BeFake can contribute content material alongside what folks create themselves.

It turned out it was a problem for AI to work with a candid photographs, versus poring by way of 20 footage of somebody earlier than it got here up with one thing acceptable. The app wanted to be simple and quick.

With the ultimate app, you possibly can take a candid photograph after which write a textual content immediate to generate pictures based mostly on that photograph with the press of a button.

“We jokingly say it’s like from boring to banger in 5 seconds,” Garcia Dumont stated. “The faux stuff was the place we began. Now we’re beginning out with an actual consumer — it’s you. You acknowledge it as you are taking your image and also you rework it with AI and you continue to realize it’s you. You possibly can push the envelope of who you’re, however it’s nonetheless you on the heart of it.”

You possibly can faucet prompts out there from BeFake, like, “Make me scorching” or “put me in outerspace with planets throughout.”

Producing correct prompts is type of an artwork. And producing too many pictures might be costly. So the group needed to concentrate on getting usable pictures one out of two occasions. That required quite a lot of work on the backend and on the fashions.

“With just some phrases, individuals are getting again a picture that they love and that’s actually enjoyable and thrilling,” Garcia Dumont stated. “The entire level is that that is an antidote to BeReal. Being genuine is extraordinarily aggravating. It’s excessive strain and it turns into not that enjoyable. That makes social method too exhausting.”

Working the corporate

The man on proper is what you get if you apply BeFake to the man on the left.

Garcia Dumont stated the corporate is totally distant. She stated she has loved it extra so than the earlier gaming work in a single respect. She believes there’s extra respect for expertise than there was in gaming, the place it was “exhausting” having to show to others that one was competent. The work resembles gaming in a single respect. A world of AI bots is lots just like the non-player characters in video games, the place gamers are accustomed to the thought of enjoying amongst bots.

On the social entrance, Garcia Dumont needs to show extra people who find themselves present shoppers of content material into creators of content material, primarily by making advanced applied sciences extra accessible. For now, the corporate focuses on producing enjoyable nonetheless pictures, however finally it may transfer to video.

The corporate has raised a seed funding spherical from Khosla Ventures, Subsequent Coast Ventures and Joe Lonsdale. Over time, the corporate’s problem will probably be in having access to the type of computing energy it wants for AI processing. And so, like all firm, BeFake has to get the stability proper in relation to giving customers the facility of generative AI totally free and charging them for the compute they use.

For individuals who grow to be energy customers of BeFake, the corporate will cost a subscription payment and shoppers can purchase credit to generate extra pictures. However those that aren’t as diehard can generate pictures totally free.

Studying from gaming

You may give your pals mouse ears in BeFake.

One of many issues she introduced from gaming? She stated, “A robust perception that folks can forge very deep and significant connections with those who they don’t even know. It doesn’t want to start out together with your pal base or your contact listing or your college. You possibly can really construct a community of people that bond round a shared curiosity. And so for gaming, for cell gaming, the shared curiosity is in video games. For a social community, the shared pursuits might be the enjoyable of producing actually intelligent and artistic AI masterpieces. You possibly can simply marvel at what any individual else was in a position to create.”

One other factor that Machine Zone taught her is that the individuals who succeed are those who by no means quit.

“You can not cease. It doesn’t matter what number of occasions you get punched within the face,” she stated. “You simply get again up and prepare to get punched once more. If you wish to be an app developer, you higher have a thick pores and skin. You higher be able to struggle. And also you simply have to have an unbelievable will to succeed as a result of it’s extraordinarily aggressive.”

Machine Zone was additionally the place Garcia Dumont realized concerning the significance of machine studying, which helps with every part from monetization to constructing out content material. And she or he stated, “There’s an artistry to this. It’s simply ones and zeros. It’s not simply enormous compute. There may be an absolute artwork” to human communication.

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