A new makeup removing app named "MakeApp" from Russian developer of Armenian origin Ashot Gabrelyanov is has stirred massive controversy among women and media worldwide.
You take a selfie or upload a picture of someone else, and the free version of the app gives you two options to add makeup or remove makeup. You pick one, and the filter does the rest, Business Insider says.
It's a controversial idea by itself, given that AI tends to be fairly unflattering to anyone with a darker skin tone, and that using AI to judge female beauty is a pretty questionable goal.
But Gabrelyanov, a Russian native, is no stranger to controversy. He is also behind pro-Russia news outlet called LifeNews, which was described by the independent Moscow Times as showing "obsequious loyalty to the Kremlin." One current story accuses the US of financing "Russophobe extremists" on social media. The outlet is popular in Russia for its celebrity scoops — but is also banned in Ukraine for airing "war propaganda." In an email to Business Insider, Gabrelyanov said he had stopped working for LifeNews in 2013.
He also denied that he was a propagandist, describing Life as a popular news outlet in Russia, and stating that as its CEO he had no control over editorial decisions.
Gabrelyanov is the son of Russian-Armenian journalist Aram Gabrelyanov who has been a Chief Deputy Chief Executive Officer at JSC National Media Group since February 2011.