To start let's explain what is a CGI (in my own words and I am NOT an expert).
Basically is a computer-generated imagery created using computer software and special visual effects - it could be still or animated visual content and its used to produce images for visual art, advertising, engineering, anatomical modeling, video games and special effects and could includes Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) applications.
Have you heard about Lil Miquela?
Bermuda or Blawko?
What about Shudu?
Yeah, they are some of the new influencers in our social media, specially Instagram.
Because all of them are models! And insta is the right place to be if you are planning in becoming a model or a superstar...
But they are - besides being models - a CGI Computer-Generated Influencer.
That's it. Miquela, Bermuda, Blawko and Shunu are a computer-generated (CG) character. They are here to disrupt the fashion and lifestyle scene and it is already fooling some of us. They are so convincing that 42% of people who followed them did NOT realizes that they are NOT real, NOT humans (according recent study by the media company Fullscreen).
The Digital Influencer market is set to reach $2 billion in the next two years, according to CBS, so there is a very lucrative niche in this high competitive market. Don't forget that Kylie and Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Giselle Bundchen and Rosie Huntington-Whitely earn millions per year based on their looks, attitude, yoga poses, iced match tea, makeup, selfies while travelling around the world...they have a life that most of us envy!
Wait a minute! CGI also have a life...yeah for real...on Instagram, Twitter!
Meet Lil Miquela - 1.5 million followers
Lil Miquela, or Miquela Sousa, is a 19-year-old Brazilian-American model from Los Angeles, California. She is also a singer and Instagram Influencer with 1.5 million followers on Instagram, and has worked for Chanel, Proenza Schouler, Supreme and Prada.
She has released her third single and stars in the pages of American Vogue’s, V and Paper.
Miquela has her birthday wishes, was spotted buying some old fashion books and people are following her sometimes even not knowing what she is. A robot? A dool?
Meet Bermuda - 133k followers
Bermuda is the most controversial and a little bit of a radical "person"!
She is an ex-Trump supporter, ex Blawko girlfriend, a "robot supremacist" and she hacked Miquela's page to give her an ultimatum: tell people the truth (that shes is a CGI).
Now both are friends hanging out, going together to have lunch, drinking mocha, travelling around the world and living "life"Having a normal life! Exercising and eating healthy lunch.
Meet Blawko, 135k followers
His name is Ronald, he is 22 yo and loves video games, doesn't clean his room and apparently is in a love triangle (between him, Miquela, and Bermuda). He is a super model, digital influencer and wear designer clothes all the time and it became a digital influencer!
Meet Shudu, 172k followers
Shudu is the first world's digital supermodel and it is a creation of beauty photographer Cameron James Wilson as an art project. She is a digital influencer and took part at Rihannas's Fenty Beauty Instagram page.
Shudu doesn't have a "life" - her instagram doesn't have eating, drinking, exercising... maybe because she is 100% focused on her model career...
Fascinates me that people interact as they are real! They share their love, their hate, they wish meet them, touch them to say hello, and they are confused if they are real, a robot...
I love the comments a part of the abusive ones - don't be a bully even if they do not have real feelings...
Meet Saya - animated CGI
This is Saya and in my opnion, the best CGI at this moment. Why? Because I can see a "human" that I can relate - the way she blinks, her hair boucing, the sweet smile...
The team have added human emotions to Saya like joy, surprise, sadness and fear and next steps is to Saya have autonomous behaviour and a natural voice (scared or excited?)
Saya is a project started in 2015 and it's created by Telyuka - Japanese artists Teruyuki Ishikawa & Yuka Ishikawa. They have been improving Saya since them...
Hollywood has been working with CGI for a long time as well, the gaming industry. So to be honest, we are experiencing this technology for a while. Have you recognize those characters? (Avatar, Gollum, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes).
Here, all of them are animated characters - so we don't feel uneasy...
When a CGI imitates a human, we feel a little bit ... nervous! Maybe we are a little bit scared of engaging with a "human" that is not a human at all and we cannot recognize this. And most of us feel scare when in front of something that is unknown. A digital person that is interacting and engaging (maybe in the future even having their own opinion about stuff).
Right now, as CGI are taking the world by storm...even when we are not aware of that.
By the way, have you heard about The Uncanny Valley???
Never? Ok, no worries, next time I will talk about uncanny valley and why as humans we feel uneasy, like if something is not right with that human...keep following me next week!
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B2B Digital Marketing and Social Media Consultant Candyce has spend the past 15 years working in B2B Sales and Marketing for various tech brands driving digital transformation and product experiences with her knowledge and expertise. She is a consultant, advisor, founder of "Digital Business Women", a Digital Magazine focused on Women in Tech and Digital Businesses, a speaker & panellist at various technology & lifestyle events. A self confessed tech geek, technology is part of her life every.single.day. Candyce lives near London and you can find her working while searching the best cup of coffee when travelling around Europe.