The world of A.I is only a new one. It’s something that has only appeared as reality in the 21st century, being in our computers, our technology, but now it is in our online media. It has become staples of what can be distributed, sold, it has become faces of themselves, being programmed to be a persona. Social media has really taken an interest to certain A.I personas, Hatsune Miku being a prime example, a vocaloid singer who’s whole persona is being A.I. However, in the sphere of internet such as Instagram and Youtube, such personas have taken over, and we ask, how much influence does A.I have?
Some people aren’t very knowledgeable about A.I and the web, a sort of persona online existing seems foreign, thats not for Miquela, an internet sensation with over 1.6 million followers on Instagram, and 40 thousand Youtube subscribers. She describes herself as a feminist, a black lives matter advocate, and a musician.
Because of the current online political and social climate online, her social following grew immensely. She was relatable, but aware of her A.I creation. An interview with Harper Bazaar with Miquela revealed how she feels about comparing to human models
“You know, Instagram curation is so important,” she says. “I think a lot of humans and robots like to present the best possible version of themselves on social media.”
These type of A.I are called “Brandfluencatars” a.k.a. Brand Influencer Avatars. They can be a positive to culture online as they can be presented as an avatar and can be shaped to brand positive awareness, however “with all technology, is the separation between the realms of reality and CGI. As seen in video game addiction in young children, the biggest danger of blurring the lines between technology a reality is the mental effects it may have on you” (Forstmann, Data Driven Investor, 2018)
But what about A.I that is made for entertainment? not made to be an influence, but for people to enjoy? Well thats where A.I. Channel comes in, with over 2.6 million youtube subscribers. Her name is Kizuna, and claims to be the first A.I Youtuber. Her creation as well as voice actor is unknown, but Kizuna like Miquela is aware of her being artificial, but she seems to have a defined personality, one more childlike, sweet, and fun, this has brough her appeal universal.
But is this A.I good for us? An article in Forbes discussing A.I and its training of detoxing online media discusses both how there are positives for the future of A.I online, as it can be trained to deter harassment, and create a positive environment for the future of online, but there is a downside, “you need natural language processing”, which may not be taught in A.I, ever, and this can affect how we see A.I in the future. We may never be able to have a true conversation with the,
So what now for A.I? Well, as the online medium continues to grow, the aspect of A.I does the same. The continued growth of technology will continue A.I., from the large such as @lilmiquela, to the small, such as @tonicruze_, A.I. will thrive in the online world. I think we as society perpetuate this, we encourage through likes, comments, and in the future, will be able to tell between what is and isn’t A.I?
Maybe we want to see how human they can get.