Introducing the 'AI Influencer'

The robots are here, and they're coming for the wellbeing industry...

Image credit: Pixabay @cDuBBy
Over the last decade, the wellbeing industry has boomed into an international, multi-trillion-dollar space. Driven by the emergence of health and wellness influencers, this industry has now become a major force in the consumer market.

However, while most people can admit to having been influenced by the likes of Joe Wicks, Dr Alex or Chloe Ting, how many of us can say we’ve been influenced by an AI creator?

An AI influencer is a virtual personality designed using Artificial Intelligence. Technically speaking, anyone with the correct media skillset can create their own AI avatar, and in recent years they have become increasingly popular.

AI personality Lil Miquela was one of the first CGI influencers to amass a major following on social media. Launched in 2016, her Instagram profile now boasts 2.6 million Instagram followers, and Miquela has collaborated with brands such as Calvin Klein, Dior, and Samsung.

a virtual personality designed using Artificial Intelligence

Although AI influencers like Miquela have been operating in the lifestyle sector for a number of years, their presence in wellbeing is a relatively new phenomenon. While some companies have been reluctant to utilise AI, others have implemented it in various forms.

Contraceptive pill brand Lovima recently created their own in-house AI influencer, Lovi – a young, relatable avatar, introduced to combat misinformation surrounding birth control on social media.

While Lovi had a positive influence, the same cannot be said of many independent AI influencers. Recently, there has been an outcry from parents and wellbeing brands who argue that AI creators promote health issues such as body dysmorphia to children and teens.

AI influencers are not currently regulated by the Advertising Standards Agency. The organisation stated that while it is “keenly aware of the rise of virtual influencers”, it does not currently plan to force AI avatars to state that they are artificial.

AI influencers are not currently regulated by the Advertising Standards Agency

The Prime Minister’s AI Safety Summit recently highlighted the risks associated with the future of AI. With that being said, it is safe to say that AI influencers will have a profound effect on the wellbeing industry.

Whether this is for better or worse, however, is yet to be determined.

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