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Meetali Asiwal

Thinker | Posted on | others

The real virtual celebrities


The extent to which AI has advanced is shocking than ever. The only “unreal” celebrities we could think of some years earlier were the wax statues at Madame Tussauds –deaf, dumb, and harmless. But AI, with the help of Computer Generated Imagery, has reached at the zenith of imagination by creating the “real” virtual celebrities.

As popular and as influential as the real stars, they are ruling the instagram today and giving a tough competition to the really real celebrities. It’s almost as if Elon Musk’s claim that AI will do the most human things better than humans is coming true. These CGI created supermodels and celebrities are being admired by such large numbers that they are even endorsing the most popular brands like Prada and Diesel. Yes, we finally have entered the revolutionary age when we ourselves acknowledge our defeat in doing things better than technologically created personas. It should be called Utopia or Dystopia, is yet to be decided.

While India is still obsessing over the real celebrities, their pre engagement parties, their hook ups and split ups, the rest of the world has welcomed and started celebrating the virtual beauty and aptitude, calling its creation a work of postmodern art. CGI is creating the personas with as influential an aura as that of any real world celebrity and they are getting the same attention, appreciation, and admiration.

The real virtual celebrities

Technicians and entrepreneurs have even started predicting the future of these virtual beauties and they are up to creating the virtual doppelgangers of real celebrities which will be used for advertisements and earn money for the celebrities. One such CGI created persona, Bermuda was created for the political support of Donald Trump. That their behavioral qualities are not much different from the tantrums and airs thrown by the real celebrities is evident from the instance when Bermuda hacked the instagram account of another CGI star Lil Miquela. Their virtual fight was given as much importance as given to any two actresses’ cat fight.

 Lil Miquela

It should be noted that even what we ourselves are on social media is a lot different from us in real life. With the help of snapchat filters, instagram beauty enhancing applications, and so on, we can become whatever we want to be at least virtually today. In this scenario, the coming of “real” virtual celebs seems more real that our virtually real personas. They at least appear what they actually are because their reality itself in only virtual. How much is it correct on ethical grounds, is another question that needs to be tackled.

When Cameron James Wilson created Shudu, and called it an art celebrating the unconventional dark skinned beauty, did he not unintentionally suggested that dark skin could be beautiful only when created technologically? The followers on her instagram account are almost equal to the followers on any actual real dark skinned actress. Similarly, when virtual celebrities cannot feel fragrance of a perfumeor softness of a linen, how can they be trusted while endorsing these products? However, let’s not forget that today we have started trusting virtuality way more than the reality.

Cameron James Wilson