Do AI Headshot Generators Work?


Can AI Produce A Good Headshot?


Just Show Me The Images 😂


When I realised my LinkedIn profile picture was no longer an accurate representation of what I look like now (less hair, and more grey beard), I got to seeking out a way to get a new headshot. I’m time poor, and a bit tight with money when it comes to things that I consider vanity items, so a professional photographer was not an option. I started googling, and this is where I delved into the world of AI headshot generators, and the fine line between hilarity and eeriness in the resulting output.


1. How Do AI Headshot Generators Work?

The first step is selecting a desired style. Whether it’s an executive look, a LinkedIn-friendly vibe, or a warm white aesthetic, these generators offer a range of options to suit different preferences. 
Once a style is chosen, the AI utilises a collection of selfies to create a personalised headshot (I uploaded about 25 selfies). By blending and piecing together various facial features from different images, it aims to produce a cohesive and professional result.

2. The AI Headshot Results

One of the most intriguing aspects of using AI headshot generators is the unpredictable nature of the outcomes. While some results turn out surprisingly well, others can be hilariously off the mark. The AI’s attempt to stitch together facial features from different angles and lighting conditions sometimes leads to comically distorted or mismatched images. These less successful attempts often provide a good laugh and serve as a reminder of the limitations of AI technology.
On the other hand, there are instances where the results veer into slightly spooky territory. The uncanny valley effect may creep in, creating headshots that appear almost too perfect or eerily unnatural. Note that in all of my selfies, I was wearing a dark or light t-shirt. Any variations in clothing have been added by the AI. They gave me 70 images…. here’s a sample of the ‘best’ ones.

3. They’re Retouched?


To enhance the quality of the AI-generated headshots, human intervention comes into play. After the AI has done its job, a human retoucher steps in to refine the images. This step can often be the deciding factor in turning an amusingly flawed headshot into something more polished and professional. However, it also means that any oddities or exaggerations produced by the AI can sometimes be amplified unintentionally, resulting in an even more outrageous outcome. After seeing some of the images, it’s hard to believe that much (if any) attention to detail is given in the process.


4. Affordability and Expectations


One of the main advantages of AI headshot generators is their affordability. For a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional photographer, (I paid around USD $30), you can experiment with different styles and generate multiple headshot options without breaking the bank. That said, if you’re venturing into the world of AI headshots, temper your expectations (Exhibit A, ‘Conehead’ above).


5. My Final Take On AI Headshots


Well, I got what I paid for I suppose. The wacky results are hilarious, and completely unusable for a platform like LinkedIn.


There might be a Facebook profile photo in there somewhere, but the results are not what you would call professional.

I’m sure the technology has a way to go, and it might depend on which company you choose (I’m not going to say which company I went with, I don’t want the bad karma). 


In the end, for my LinkedIn profile, I went with an image that my 8 year old took on my iPhone. It’s just slightly better than the AI version, but it’s enough for now.


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