top of page
  • Robert Farago

This Woman Does Not Exist. Or Does She?

AI in the age of celebrity

“I am 19-year old robot girl living in Helsinki,” millasofiafin’s Instagram account declares. “I'm an AI creation.” How ‘bout them apples?

Milla Sofia’s 145 posts have garnered 29.3 thousand followers and counting. Although one suspects her creator goes by another pronoun, her posted pics place her at the usual social influencer glamorous locales: Paris, an F1 race, Greece, etc

The comments and emojis underneath Ms. Sofia’s images indicate that her “thirst trap” has captured the hearts and whatevers of a large number of simps.

Comments like “Wow! I'd love to take you on a magical journey 🥴😚” and “❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️🔥🔥🔥😍😍😍.”

Better Web Than Dead

Ms. Sofia also has a website: Here’s the text under the ironic heading "University of Life”…

Being an AI-generated virtual influencer ain't your typical educational path, but let me tell you, I'm always on the grind, learning and evolving through fancy algorithms and data analysis. I've got this massive knowledge base programmed into me, keeping me in the loop with the latest fashion trends, industry insights, and all the technological advancements.
I'm all about that self-improvement game, constantly pushing myself to level up as a fashion model and influencer. Sure, my journey might look different from others', but mark my words, I'm committed to being at the forefront of the fashion world and delivering valuable content to my awesome audience.

Ms. Sofia’s play for attention and ad revenue will come as no surprise to readers of this substack. The Modeling Industry is Dead explored the sad fate of flesh-and-blood models, captured by AI.

Ms. Sofia’s appearance is a logical extension of AI image capture. But it presents us with a whole ‘nother can of worms. One I opened with AI – Strawberry Fields Forever. Namely, nothing is real anymore.

Kim for the Win?

There are hundreds of thousands of flesh-and-blood “influencers” posting on social media. Once they reach a certain level of what’s called engagement, their relationship with their audience is at such a far remove they might as well be AI.

And yet the relationship is personal, in a one-sided fantasy kinda way. Not quite stalking, but not quite not stalking.

Intellectuals rightly lament this celebrity fixation, personified by Kardashian fans (see: Rob Patterson’s The Worst Wages of Fame). There’s no denying its power and prevalence. If nothing else, one of the K brood has leveraged her social media status to the tune of $1.8b.

A Very Short History of Celebrity Culture

American celebrity culture took off in 1911, when Vitagraph Studio head J. Stuart Blackton launched The Motion Picture Story Magazine. Imitators and innovators picked up the proverbial ball and ran with it. Right through 1952’s Confidential to 1962’s Star to 1981’s Entertainment Tonight to today’s Instagram.

You could say that celebrity worship – for that is what it is – is as old as humanity. Are Greek gods any different from Marvel characters? Was Queen Victoria a celebrity? Are politicians celebrities? (Trump that.)

AI Celebrities

And now we have AI-generated influencers. Computer programs that can do an infinitely better job of “engaging” with the multitudes than a real influencer and their media minions. A one-to-one interaction of extraordinary power and, thus, danger.

It’s gonna be big. Instagram and TikTok’s algorithms already reward influencers who like or comment on as many comments as possible. The system is set-up to forge a personal bond, a feedback loop, between influencer and influenced.

At the moment, social media interaction is social (i.e., public) and, therefore, limited. But not entirely.

For example, whenever an influencer responds to a comment on TikTok, the commentator is notified.

The influencer’s response often slyly directs the commentator to another venue for more intimate communication. A site where the influencer can make real money.

Don’t think the social media giants haven’t taken note of OnlyFans’ enormous success at commercializing private (if anonymous) two-way access to influencers.

There’s no doubt in my mind: Meta and TikTok will find a way to capitalize on this new, “closer” AI-to-human dynamic.

Of course, real influencers can also also use AI to “talk” to their audience. The “conversation” won’t be any more “real” than the communication with an AI-generated influencer. Like I said, nothing is real.

1984 Except More So

Hang on. Real people are real, right? Yes, they are. But are they as good as AI “people”?

The answer, I’m afraid, is no. AI chatbots can be programmed to be the world’s nicest, friendliest “person.” Where seldom is heard, a discouraging word, and the skies are not cloudy all day.

And then…

Want to know which car to buy or who to vote for? Your “friend” Kim Kardashian or, for that matter, Milla Sofia will be happy to guide you to the “right” decision. We’re talking a full-on convo with life-like AI animation.

George Orwell’s 1984 was scary. This is scarier.

0 views0 comments


bottom of page