Have you ever lined up the perfect landscape shot, took a breath, *click*⁠ – and then⁠ – ruination! At the last minute a pesky human had to go and walk into the frame, spoiling your symmetry and aesthetic and whatever modicum of artistry you had attempted to incorporate. At times, humans can make great photo subjects, on other occasions… well, they can just ruin the whole thing.

Thankfully, we are blessed to live in the 21st century, where any major problem or minuscule inconvenience cannot go unaddressed, and⁠ – drum roll – there is an app for that. Say hello to Bye Bye camera! Created by techie Damjanski from the collective “Do Something Good,” the app uses technology to erase humans from your photos and blend the background! Sounds useful, right? 

How does it work? TechCrunch explains:

Bye Bye Camera works using some of the AI tools that are already out there for the taking in the world of research. It uses YOLO (You Only Look Once), a very efficient object classifier that can quickly denote the outline of a person, and then a separate tool that performs what Adobe has called “context-aware fill.” Between the two of them a person is reliably — if a bit crudely — deleted from any picture you take and credibly filled in by background.

Damjanski views his app as more than a fun tool; he also sees it as a vessel for a deeper artistic message. The creator told Artnome:

The app takes out the vanity of any selfie and also the person. I consider Bye Bye Camera an app for the post-human era. It’s a gentle nod to a future where complex programs replace human labor and some would argue the human race. It’s interesting to ask what is a human from an Ai (yes, the small “i” is intended) perspective? In this case, a collection of pixels that identify a person based on previously labeled data. But who labels this data that defines a person immaterially? So many questions for such an innocent little camera app.

Bye Bye camera sounds like an amusing app to use, but it also demonstrates that apps don’t have to be limited to superficial purposes. They can also generate discussions about deeper philosophical questions!