AI vs Humans: Influencers Face Competition From Virtual Models

Sporting pink hair and posing in lingerie, swimsuits or gym outfits, Aitana Lopez has more than 300,000 followers on Instagram where she is described as a "gamer at heart" and "fitness lover" -- except she's not real.

Aitana was created by The Clueless, a Barcelona-based company that describes itself as an "AI modeling agency" run by "visionaries on a mission to redefine the world of influencers".

Sofia Novales, project manager at The Clueless, said the "rising costs associated with human influencers" was a reason behind the company's creation.

"Virtual models, being digital, present a more economical alternative," Novales said.

Another plus: total control over content.

"The advantages lie in unparalleled creative control, allowing seamless decision-making on image, fashion, and aesthetics without the need for physical photoshoots," Novales said.

The rise of AI has fuelled concerns about the proliferation of deepfake videos that could be used maliciously.

Meta, owner of Facebook and Instagram, said Friday it would start putting "Made with AI labels" on AI-generated content in May.

AI presents a huge business opportunity for content creators: The influencer market is expected to grow rapidly, from $16.5 billion in 2022 to nearly $200 billion by 2032, according to Allied Market Research.



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