Digital Person: How Does the Cyber Version of Humanity Look?
Digital personalities are a growing trend that is worth paying close attention to. It is enough to recall Lil Miquela, a virtual blogger who captured the fashion industry. According to her fictional biography, she is 19 years old and is a model and singer of Brazilian origin. Lil Miquela has gained more than a million followers in two years, designed clothes for several well-known brands, and attracted $6 million in investments.
And now remember that this is not a living person, but just a digital person.
This is not the first time that a virtual character has achieved such popularity. Many of us probably know the band Gorillaz, created by musician Damon Albarn and designer Jamie Hewlett. The group consists of four virtual persons, and it fills entire stadiums. Gorillaz has collaborated with such stars as Snoop Dogg and D12 and even received a Grammy.
However, there are thousands of virtual persons that few people know about. So how do digital people gain influence and gain followers?
Previously, we’ve talked about NFT art. If you’ve missed it, you can read more here.
Digital people are already here
It all starts with a story. It should be close to living people. Furthermore, it’s easy to come up with a story; it’s harder to choose the right approach in the self-expression of a virtual character.
For example, Ava’s digital model stands for pansexuality, which is a hot topic for her 5,000 followers. Another virtual person named Perl promotes body positivity and often shows a close-up of a discoloration of the skin near her eye.
You may ask, what is the difference between these digital people and Homer Simpson? After all, he is also created with the help of computer graphics. He also has a backstory and is known by millions. So, is Homer also a digital personality?
Not quite. Animated characters from television or cartoons do not have one very important characteristic.
Real life of a digital person
The key feature of digital personalities is that they seem to “just live” in our world, like ordinary people. Therefore, digital people need to share their thoughts and emotions, just like all of us, on social networks.
The best ways to protect personal data in social networks are here.
Although some openly admit that they are not real, social networks allow virtual characters to maintain a “real” image.
For example, Donnie Red shows in his blog how he has fun — he rides, swims in the pool, and celebrates the birthday of his turtle. We see a seemingly ordinary life. Nothing in his posts tells you, “Hi, I’m just a digital image. I want you to spend your time and money on me.” Donny now has more than 125,000 fans.
Another example is Blawko, a friend of Lil Miquela. He publishes photos in which he communicates and relaxes with real people. Periodically, he does pretty human things – for example, he goes to interviews.
One day, digital characters like Blawko may start collaborating with companies like Soul Machines. This firm wants to change the way we think about interacting with machines. Recently, they developed the concept of a virtual McDonald’s employee who could work with customers at the checkout.
Such famous and “live” digital personalities as Lil Miquela and Blawko will easily get a job in this way and earn even more.
Homer Simpson and Mickey Mouse can only show their lives in 30-minute episodes of their series, planned weeks ahead. We can find some details about them in amusement parks and through related products, but these are additional materials.
Digital personalities start their lives in social networks, and only then does anyone shoot an animated series, write a song, or draw art about them.
The work of virtual stars
Consumers are increasingly trusting people, not companies. Remember the success of Kylie Jenner and her brand. Women of her age, give or take a couple of years, easily see her as a role model. However, all her recommendations are well-directed advertising, created solely for the sake of profit.
Virtual characters are ideal influencers. Just look at them from the point of view of a corporation that wants to order advertising: digital personalities are more reliable and less problematic than real people. They will not be arrested for drunk driving, and questionable details cannot come up in their biographies.
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Companies need representatives who will help sell products and advertisers who will entertain consumers. The fictional history of digital personalities satisfies both of these aspects. The only ones who lose are the consumers being openly lied to, but does this surprise anyone?
Artificial intelligence and neurotechnologies in business
According to experts, most employees will receive personal “smart” assistants that will improve the quality of their work. In addition, some futurists predict that by 2026, one seat on each board of directors will belong to a machine with artificial intelligence.
Integration of neural interfaces in the workplace, in turn, will require more attention to cybersecurity issues. Perhaps some companies will even sponsor the purchase of nootropic supplements or neurostimulation devices that can improve employees’ awareness and increase the speed at which they acquire new skills.
Digital characters in our reality
Perhaps virtual characters can be transferred to our reality with the help of AR technologies. But the best way, perhaps, will be holograms. Companies like Pulse Evolution use this technology to create giant concert projections — so they created a hologram of Michael Jackson to perform at the Billboard Music Awards in 2014.
We will always interact with digital personalities through a kind of “portal” — a phone screen, AR glasses, or holograms. They seem to exist in another dimension — it appears to be nearby but accessible only with the help of special devices.
It is impossible to say with certainty that digital personalities are either good or evil. But there are more and more of them. They are born thanks to graphic technologies, social networks, and authors who come up with stories for them.
You may not like them. You can ignore them. But know that digital personalities are already among us. And they are the future.
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