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Published: September 15, 2021

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • South Korean company creates a virtual influencer using AI
  • The new model makes more than $800,000 in less than a year
  • “Virtual humans” hide some major benefits over real life influencers and models

It seems that we are getting closer and closer to a cyberpunk future as AI continues to make astounding things that take the Internet by storm. The latest sensation is an AI-generated influencer, who managed to score over 100 contracts in less than a year.

Like Something Out of a Science Fiction Novel

The fact that “virtual humans” exist is nothing new, although it still sounds like a very sci-fi concept. With things such as KDA from League of Legends, the virtual idols from Vocaloid and even the rise of VTubers last year, it is clear that virtual personalities are here to stay.

What is a potential game-changer, however, are virtual influencers created by AI. Rozy – a virtual AI-generated influencer – has been growing in popularity over the past year, amassing over 60,000 followers.

If you go to her Instagram page you would see an attractive young woman. Plenty of those on the Internet, right? Well, you might not guess bust she is in fact a digital creation, made by South Korean company Sidus Studio X in August of last year, using AI.

Baek Seung Yeop, CEO of the company, said that Rozy has already landed more than 100 sponsorships and endorsements, earning the company over $850,000 since her Instagram debut in December of 2020.

She was created by combining the physical attributes Millennials and Gen Z’s find most attractive. The studio used an AI program to extract almost 800 facial expressions and movements from an actor. According to Yeop, no one realized that Rozy is in fact virtual in the first three months since her debut.

What Are the Advantages of “Virtual Humans”

Being virtual means Rozy doesn’t get tired, ill, or fed up. She doesn’t have a busy schedule offline, so she can devote all her time to sponsorships and photoshoots. So far, she seems like a robot from science fiction – always working, never getting tired, never refusing orders.

There are, however, other perhaps more important factors as to why companies seem to gravitate to “virtual” influencers more and more. As Yeop explains – celebrities sometimes get caught up in violence, scandals, or drama. Being essentially not real, Rozy and others like her, are free of real-life problems like that. Neither does she have things from her past to worry about, since she has no controversial past.

Not only that but “virtual humans” don’t age. Rozy will stay forever 22, young and beautiful, and she can travel across the world wherever whenever she, or more precisely the companies giving “her” contracts, want.

And here’s one more, quite blunt advantage of virtual humans over real ones – cost. It is simply much cheaper to hire a 3D model, than an actual person. For one, you don’t need to fly your influencer to some exotic place in order to make a photoshoot. You don’t need to pay for expensive equipment either. And probably the most cost-beneficial factor – the model does not need to be paid anything. All the money goes to the company, who owns the model.

For now, the actual online creators are still human, just using avatars or 3D models, but maybe we are coming closer to where these models will start making content on their own.

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