Debut ‘Miss AI’ spotlights darker side of modern tech

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Inaugural ‘AI beauty pageant’ sheds light on tech’s eerie facets.

NEW YORK, April 21: In a surprising move merging technology and tradition, the Fanvue World AI Creator Awards (WAICAs) has unveiled “Miss AI,” a beauty pageant exclusively for AI bots. The competition, offering a grand prize of $5,000 and the title of the ‘world first,’ marks a peculiar evolution in the realm of beauty pageants.

Contrary to its antiquated roots, Miss AI isn’t solely focused on physical appearance. Contestants, virtual models generated by AI algorithms, will be evaluated on criteria ranging from ‘beauty’ and ‘poise’ to their articulation on topics like world peace and their ‘social media clout.’ Notably, the judging panel includes non-existent personas like Emily Pellegrini, a character who gained ‘fame’ after duping celebrities into believing she was real.

Adding to the surreal nature of the competition, AI-generated models such as Pellegrini and Atiana Lopez, purportedly earning $10,000 monthly for their male creator, will contribute to the judging process. Meanwhile, traditional figures like Lord Alan Sugar’s PR advisor, Andrew Bloch, and Miss Great Britain head judge Sally Ann Fawcett, aim to inject a semblance of reality into the proceedings.

Fanvue, the competition’s sponsor, hails these AI creations as ‘AI creators,’ envisioning a billion-dollar industry by 2024. Co-founder Will Monange envisions the WAICAs as the ‘Oscars’ of the AI creator economy, underscoring the platform’s role in facilitating the growth of AI-generated content.

However, concerns linger regarding the potential reinforcement of unrealistic beauty standards, particularly among impressionable demographics like young girls. With the rise of AI-generated models, social media platforms risk further distortion of beauty ideals, exacerbating issues already prevalent in influencer culture.

Acknowledging this dilemma, brands like Dove have expanded their Real Beauty campaign to combat AI beauty standards. Yet, as journalist Danae Mercer Ricci observes, addressing this phenomenon requires collective awareness and action beyond individual initiatives.

Amidst debates over AI’s role in media representation, recent controversies, including accusations against Netflix and A24 for employing AI imagery, underscore the urgency of grappling with the ethical implications of AI integration in entertainment and advertising.

As the Miss AI competition unfolds, it prompts reflection on the intersection of technology and beauty standards, urging society to navigate this evolving landscape with vigilance and critical scrutiny.

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