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[Weekender] A day in the life of an AI dressing room model

Four-hour photoshoot pays $90; no work experience, training required

The Korea Herald reporter Choi Jae-hee poses for a photoshoot at a studio run by Altovision located in Geumcheon-gu, southwestern Seoul on Aug. 3. (The Korea Herald)
The Korea Herald reporter Choi Jae-hee poses for a photoshoot at a studio run by Altovision located in Geumcheon-gu, southwestern Seoul on Aug. 3. (The Korea Herald)

Advances in artificial intelligence require countless hours of human work, not just from engineers and IT professionals, but also a massive input of lower skills. 

But for the development of an AI-powered virtual dressing room, hardly any skills were required. All you are asked to do for a daytime gig as an AI fashion model is to bring yourself and 10 pieces of your own clothes or other fashion items for a photoshoot.  

On Aug. 3, I was among several female models who had a photoshoot inside a white cube at a studio run by Altovision located in Geumcheon-gu, southwestern Seoul. Altovision, a company specializing in the creation of training datasets for AI, needed photos of people wearing various clothes and fashion accessories to be used for building virtual clothes try-on software. 

Before the photoshoot, I was asked to sign a legal document that permits companies to use my pictures for business purposes. 

I had brought three jackets, three tops, two dresses and two pairs of trousers, all of which I wore. 

The all-white room had three cameras installed, capturing me from the front, left and right. An official sat outside the room in front of a desktop computer, checking the images taken and occasionally giving me directions. I was told to imitate certain poses shown on a screen in front of me.  

The Korea Herald reporter Choi Jae-hee poses for a photoshoot at a studio run by Altovision located in Geumcheon-gu, southwestern Seoul on Aug. 3. (The Korea Herald)
The Korea Herald reporter Choi Jae-hee poses for a photoshoot at a studio run by Altovision located in Geumcheon-gu, southwestern Seoul on Aug. 3. (The Korea Herald)

The photo session lasted four hours and more than 300 pictures were taken. 

“Virtual try-on technology allows customers to visualize how items may look on their faces or bodies before making a purchase. Whether the software can present a natural-looking mock-up of the given item on the face or body of the customer is critical,” said Oh Joo-yang, a director at Altovision.  

“Employing the data collected from the models’ images, an AI-based virtual fitting platform would be able to offer a reliable and realistic fit visualization,” he explained. 

An Altovision official checks photos taken. (The Korea Herald)
An Altovision official checks photos taken. (The Korea Herald)

Recruitment of models is done via online job portals, such as Albamon.  

Recently, a young woman came in with a large collection of sunglasses and had a photoshoot just for that, Oh added. 

A female model in her 20s poses for a photo with sunglasses on. (The Korea Herald)
A female model in her 20s poses for a photo with sunglasses on. (The Korea Herald)

The pay for the day’s four-hour modeling work? One hundred and twenty thousand won ($91). Not bad at all. 

By Choi Jae-hee (cjh@heraldcorp.com)
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