New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on December 5, 2022) follows:

Lensa is an application for users who like to edit their selfies or retouch their photos. The app is filled with plenty of filters for people of every taste.

Users are required to upload 10–20 photos of themselves for Lensa AI to function. These photographs are processed to create user avatars using the open-source Stable Diffusion model.

Although using the app is free, a user is prompted to sign up for a free 7-day trial to use the AI editing features. After that, users can pay $39.99 for a year of unlimited usage of the tool.

You could skip this screen without signing up for the trial, but the free version of the application has several restrictions.


Thanks to a new feature labeled ‘magic avatars,’ this tool has recently witnessed a dramatic increase in popularity. The app has risen to the top of the ‘Photo & Video’ category in the iOS App Store.

AI has become a way to steal form artists

However, many Lensa (Instagram AI art generator) users are unsure about the authenticity of the artwork created by the tool (1,2,3,4,5).

Lensa critics

The fact that Lensa’s AI needs only a few minutes to duplicate something that took an artist years to master is what makes many people dislike the software.

Then there is the peculiar situation where people feel that the company is exploiting artists even more by monetizing their content and not rewarding them anything in return.

Several people feel that they would rather support the original artist than pay for the Lensa app.

i’ll always feel better knowing that people who turn to ai art, steal from actual artists, and un-ironically call themselves “ai artists” don’t have the skill and determination to pick up a pencil and learn how to draw themselves

Unpopular opinion: I really feel some type of way for everyone who used that AI app for their pictures. I hope you all realize that you contributed to stealing from actual artists that took years to hone their craft. I’d rather support them the proper way and not steal from them

Lensa users concerned are about privacy and data usage

Another big concern for Lensa users is regarding their privacy and data usage by Prisma Labs (1,2,3,4,5).

Lensa Privacy policy

Given that Lensa was created by Russian developers, many Lensa users are concerned about their privacy as the application may automatically collect usage data, internet protocol (IP) addresses, and cookies.

Additionally, once Prisma/Lensa gets your consent when you install the app, they are free to use both your name and your image any way they see fit.

Some feel that they are literally sharing their private information with a foreign government and are actually paying for it.

I hate to be that guy but I wish you guys would read the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy before granting Prisma/Lensa the right to use not only your image but your name however they want without your permission

Lensa straight up states in their policy they’ll store and compile your selfies to train their AI. It’s just people don’t read it so they don’t know

According to TechCrunch, they were informed by Prisma Labs that it processes users’ images using AWS cloud services. Also, a user’s photos are quickly erased after being used to train an AI model.

Some Lensa users may feel relieved by this, but it doesn’t totally allay their concerns about data privacy.

Update 1 (December 07, 2022)

03:22 pm (IST): Lensa uses ‘Stable Diffusion’ as its ‘operating core’ to generate the striking fantasy images that many users are sharing on social networks.

Stable Diffusion is one of the many AI image generator tools currently available. However, its deep learning capabilities are raising ethical questions among artists.

Image generated by Stable Diffusion
Source (Click/tap to expand)

After all, ‘deep learning’ digital tools are based on ‘assimilating’ existing elements (in this case images, art) to generate their own images.

This makes some artists feel that their work is being taken and used without their consent to generate commercial revenue. However, Prisma Labs ensures that the Lensa images ‘can’t be described as exact replicas of any particular artwork’.


In addition, Prisma Labs has created a Twitter thread where it attempts to call out angry artists, pointing out the reasons why AI tools won’t replace digital artists.

Another issue that is worrying some is how easy it is to ‘trick’ the Lensa AI into generating NSFW images, which can be dangerous in the hands of malicious people with intent to harm others.

Update 2 (December 08, 2022)

04:53 pm (IST): If you don’t want to pay for Lensa, then here are a few free alternatives for it:

1. NightCafe
2. DALL-E 2
3. WOMBO Dream
4. StarryAI
5. Big Sleep
6. Jasper Art
7. Midjourney

8. Pixray
9. Artbreeder
10. Fotor
11. Runway ML
12. The MyHeritage AI Time Machine
13. Stable Diffusion AI

Note: We have more such stories in our dedicated Apps Section so be sure to follow them as well.

Inline Image: Lensa on Play Store

PiunikaWeb started as purely an investigative tech journalism website with main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.

Karanjot Sidhu
1024 Posts

A computer science engineer who loves tech and won't stop talking about it. Here at Piunikaweb, I mostly cover Google Pixel deals and how-tos, though you may find me covering Pixel news as well sometimes. Apart from being a nerd, i love gaming and watching movies in my free time.

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