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“AI Influencers” Taking Over Social Media And Prompting Debate About “Extinction” Of Industries, Human Relationships

Natasha Biase

While many are lauding the rapid development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for increasing productivity in the workplace, the new technological advancements are raising concerns about the potential extinction of industries, professions, and even personal relationships.

AI tools which generate human-like text, such as ChatGPT, and text-to-image models that produce realistic photos like Stable Diffusion and DALL-E have opened the door for increased efficiency, which many argue allows employees to focus their energy on more complex tasks. 

But after 23-year-old influencer Caryn Majorie created an AI clone of herself last February, skeptics are expressing concerns that a dangerous era of AI is about to be ushered in. 

Majorie, who boasts nearly 2 million Snapchat followers, created a virtual version of herself to curb fan loneliness. For just $1 per minute, followers can chat with Marjorie’s clone, CarynAI, where the “audio chatbot has been dubbed, is explicitly framed as a romantic companion, [and] incorporates aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy into its conversations,” LA Times reports.

According to Insider, CarynAI launched as a beta test in late May, generating nearly $72,000 in revenue in its first seven days. Despite Majorie’s success, her AI clone has faced backlash from critics who accuse her of “demeaning women, enabling antisocial straight-male behavior or signaling impending societal collapse.”

Now, more copycats are starting to trickle in, with many over-sexualized AI-generated images of women circulating online, inspiring conversations among cultural commentators who believe that the normalization of fake AI models will have a detrimental impact on romantic relationships.

Popular YouTuber June Nicole Lapine, who goes by the moniker Shoe0nHead, joked that women cannot compete with the flawless AI models, which largely being generated for pornographic use. “It’s so over for w*men we simply can’t compete,” she wrote in a post on X.

After reading comments on a now-deleted post of an AI model that sparked outrage on X, one user, who goes by the handle @littleapostate, pleaded with men to “go to the gym. Start eating whole, unprocessed foods. Go for a walk. Please stop being so sad. Please throw your phones and computers off a cliff.” 

Other critics of AI influencers have pointed out that they are a slippery slope that could impact the digital sex trade.

Jeremy Hambly, co-founder of The Publica, wrote that AI pornographic models could eventually overtake human women on the app in popularity, a sentiment many share as the AI models can be infinitely customized to satisfy consumer demands.

“Mark my words. AI will KILL onlyfans women. Their only hope is to literally unionize and force OF to ban AI,” Hambly wrote.

In contrast, other men, like X user @BachelorJoker, applauds replacing real women with AI.

“I don’t see what women are worried about. The days of them being objectified are over, now men will create their own porn or content that perfectly suits their needs and women are no longer needed for their beauty or looks. Maybe that’s what’s worrying them.”

The official Medium of CryptoHub0, while highlighting several downsides, also indicated some advantages of using AI models in place of real ones on porn sites, including that they “can work around the clock” and can produce videos faster than human models, leading to an increase in content that will draw in new subscribers and more profit.

However, OnlyFans models aren’t the only ones at risk of losing their jobs to AI. Fashion model and editor-in-chief of Evie Magazine, Brittany Martinez, predicts that within a decade, the entertainment industry, fashion industry, and influencers will go almost entirely AI.”

Last month, the Toronto Star highlighted that the popular denim brand Levi’s partnered with Amsterdam-based digital fashion studio Lalaland.ai, which builds AI models of every body type, age, size, and skin tone, to supplement their roster of human models with hyper-realistic, AI-generated images. According to Lalaland.ai’s website, custom AI models can be generated in under five minutes and plans for businesses start at just over $600 per month.

Speaking to Fashionista, Michael Musandu, the CEO and Co-founder of Lalaland.ai, explained that brands are turning to firms like his because it is cheaper and more time-efficient.

“With traditional photography, companies need to hire models, work with third parties like model agencies, hair stylists, makeup artists — not to mention, undergo reshoots, which happens on average two-to-eight times per collection.”

In addition to Levi’s, Lalaland.ai has reportedly created AI models for several big brands, including Tommy Hilfiger, Puma, and Adidas. 

Despite many fearing AI will disrupt certain industries and steal opportunities from people, Eric Yang, the CEO of Topaz Labs, the world’s leading AI image and video software company, believes those fears are unwarranted. 

Speaking to Fox News Digital, Yang predicts society will see an “explosion of AI-assisted human creativity and productivity in the next few years,” Adding that, “People create art to tell stories to other people, and AI can never replace that.”

Further addressing concerns, Yang likens AI enhancement to Photoshop and the pushback it received after it was introduced in the 1990s:

“Photoshop didn’t replace photographers, it just gave them superpowers,” He said. “Similarly, generative AI will enhance the talent of human artists rather than [replace] it. With AI, creators can fully concentrate on their vision instead of being bogged down by technical details. We will soon see some of the most imaginative work ever produced as a result of combining AI tools with human taste and storytelling.”

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Natasha Biase

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