China's parents turn to cheap AI to predict what their unborn child will look like.

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A service that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to predict what an unborn baby's face will look like has become popular with parents in China.

Advertised on e-commerce platforms, it claims it can “predict your baby's future face from their four-dimensional ultrasound image”, and has garnered enough interest to go viral. has gone

Tens of thousands of users have paid for the service, which costs from about 10 yuan (US$1.4) to 30 yuan on China's largest e-commerce platform Taobao, which is owned by Ali, the owner of the South China Morning Post. It is from Baba.

Providers claim they can use AI to create an image of a newborn's face from one or more ultrasound images.

Also known as an anomaly or anatomy scan, ultrasound is usually done between 18 and 22 weeks of pregnancy to check the health of the baby. It is then sometimes possible to identify its gender.

Artificial intelligence services that predict what a baby will look like are popular and affordable. Photo: Taobao

Some parents also use the scan to see what their baby looks like.

In 2020, a mother in eastern China's Anhui province cried after seeing him, saying she had never seen such an ugly child.

One Taobao shop said it was using a generative AI program called Midjourney for the process.

After entering user-supplied ultrasound images and a few text prompts, Midjourney generates four images to choose from.

Some shops charge more for enhancing photos. According to the shop, a photo can take 30 to 120 minutes to complete.

However, the likeness and description of faces generated by an AI program is not reliable.

The results generated are random, and change according to different text prompts.

One person said on the social media platform Xiaohongshu that his AI-generated baby's face looked like any other face created using artificial intelligence.

Service providers cannot guarantee the accuracy of their results, and claim that faces will match “80 to 90 percent” of ultrasound faces.

Some shops even offer to predict the faces of children as young as five years old.

Online commentators have expressed mixed opinions about the AI ​​baby identification service. Photo: Shutterstock

Critics say this idea is wrong, and that an ultrasound scan does not accurately represent what a baby's face will look like after birth because it is a composite image from multiple footage taken by multiple cameras.

Also, the face may be blurred if the child was moving when the photo was taken.

Parents often view service as fun, or a hobby, rather than a serious, scientific process.

In a comment section, one user called the service a “blind box” and said: “Let's see if my baby will look like the AI ​​image. Wish me luck in giving birth,” he said. .

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