How Artificial Intelligence Models Are Taking Over Your Instagram Feed, Nowadays, the Instagram news feed feels increasingly homogenised. Post after post, it sometimes seems like everyone is wearing the same skirt, doing the same pose, and writing the same generic captions. It’s almost as if they’re robots.
Step forward Miquela (@liliquela), an artificial intelligence ‘influencer’. With 1.3 million Instagram followers, she’s just like any other fashion blogger with perfectly planned posts, a themed feed and a penchant for sharing useful advice. But what makes her different? She’s entirely fake.
Miquela might be artificial, but that hasn’t stopped the fashion world from embracing her. In February this year, she collaborated with Prada for Milan Fashion Week, by posting 3D-generated gifs of herself at the Milan show venue wearing the spring/summer 2018 collection. Over on Prada’s Instagram account, she gave their followers a mini-tour of the space, just like any influencer would for a brand.
Prada isn’t the only brand that’s embracing the virtual world. Balmain announced yesterday that it now has a “Balmain Army” that features CGI models Margot, Shudu, and Zhi who showcase the latest designs from its BBox line. There’s even a dedicated modelling agency for digital models, including the faux face who started it all, the world’s first digital supermodel, Shudu.
She has featured on the cover of Hypebeast, in the pages of V Magazine wearing cool It-brands like Balenciaga and Kenzo, and has most recently made an appearance in Vogue. She even has a record out. With all of these achievements, it’s unsurprising that she was named one of the most influential people on the internet by Time.
The concept of artificial intelligence is still regarded as daunting, having long been associated with bleak dystopia. Films such as The Matrix and Stanley Kubrick’s A Space Odyssey, and books including Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein, all explore how AI could threaten and devalue humanity.
That’s not the message Miquela wants to give when people come across her. “I read comments every day about fearing me, plus people toss around phrases like ‘robots are taking over’,” she told us via email. (Or did she? It’s admittedly hard to ascertain the authenticity of a virtual reality model communicating with you via email.)
“At the end of the day, I just want to be kind, uplift others, spread acceptance and share my story.”
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