Aug. 9, 2020

Avatars versus humans as social influencers

 

RT showed a segment discussing this, yesterday.

As a computer dinosaur, I wanted to understand TikTok and related controversies, so I watched it.

What is a social influencer? It seems that people built largely from silicone and public relations, like the Kardashians, make millions by endorsing products they probably never use.

They are expensive to hire, behave arrogantly and are liable to do things that damage the brand being endorsed. They might make racist comments; inappropriate religious remarks; or become pariahs through drunkenness, sexual assaults etc.

Avatars can do the job RT showed an avatar that was singing a pop song and had over a 1 million social media followers very rapidly. The video looked as real as the Kardashians to me. i.e., not quite real. No doubt, as tech improves they will look entirely real.

The avatar, not the one in the picture, was used to endorse products. A presenter on RT argued that avatars were: cheaper; could not do anything deviant and were therefore a superior vehicle for brand endorsement.

The counter argument Another RT presenter argued that consumers would believe in a real person, even though they might be lying about using the product, but would not believe in the avatar, which could not use it.

Tech will improve Thinking beyond the RT program, when Avatars look entirely realistic maybe they will be fielded as real people.

Anyone stupid enough to buy products because of celebrity endorsements seems beyond hope. The same might be said of those voting for politicians. They too are largely a fake, a creation of: their PR; spin; and their media aids.

The Future 

How long before we have avatar political leaders. Could they be worse than the existing ones?

 

Maybe some country already has. The North Korean leader has the look. Maybe he will live forever, as an avatar?