July 7, 2022 – At first glance, Kyra’s Instagram profile looks a lot like any other influencer. According to her resume, she is a dream catcher and model. The 22-year-old from Mumbai, India, is thin, light-skinned and traditionally attractive. She took selfies in the bathroom and complained about the hassles of modern air travel. But there’s a problem: she’s not real.
Kyra is just the latest in a growing list of AI-generated Instagram influencers. With just 23 posts, Kyra has amassed 113,000 followers, a number that dwarfs the online presence of other AI influencers, including Mikla (with 3 million followers), Shu capital, Blaucoand Imma. Despite their origins in the imagination of marketers and programmers, all meta-influencers wear a thin coat of authenticity.
in a Can post on LinkedInKyra creator Himanshu Goel, head of business at TopSocial India, wrote: “Since she first posted, she has been to the mountains, beaches and forts of Jaipur. She has taken fashion photos, made love affairs with fans section interaction, even yoga! Keira’s journey has just begun, and there are many more adventures and secrets waiting for you to uncover. “
Kyra is a fictional character, made from computer-generated imagery, who will write the storyline for her.But for some psychologists, the arrival of AI influencers is the latest worry Social media platforms manipulate well-being and body image young people around the world.
social media model
“This will create a whole new set of beautiful ideals that look realistic,” said Dr. Sophia Choukas-Bradley, a clinical psychologist and researcher at the University of Pittsburgh. “And because they are artificially generated, they can be manipulated to be very realistic, But showing impossible physical standards.”
Humans are always comparing themselves to those around them, says social psychologist Dr Jasmine Fardouly of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. These comparisons are automatic and extensive.
“From a very young age, we’ve internalized the idea that it’s really important to be beautiful because then you’ll be successful and happy and all good things will happen. But these ideals of beauty are So specific that very few people actually achieve them,” she said.
Humans are social, so that makes sense, Fardouly said. The social bonds that allow us to thrive as a species also mean that we constantly compare ourselves to those around us to understand how we measure ourselves. Just seeing a picture of another person — even a complete stranger — can lead to comparisons, she said.
Advertisers have long exploited this part of human nature, Choukas-Bradley explained. If we see a photo or video of someone we admire or want to imitate, it’s a simple and effective way to encourage people to buy what that person is selling. In the 1900s, advertisers used celebrities to create ideals of beauty and sell the products needed to meet those standards.
For most of us, Choukas-Bradley says, these celebrities have disappeared from our daily lives.We didn’t meet them at the grocery store or see them wearing dirty sweats cosmeticNonetheless, psychologists have found that the perfect images we see in glossy magazines, on TV and on billboards have a huge impact on how people perceive their bodies. Year 1999 Survey of 548 teenage girls in the magazine Pediatrics Research shows that reading fashion magazines influences two-thirds of respondents’ perceptions of their “ideal” body and makes 47% want to lose weight.
Another study in Adolescent Health Magazine Discovered in 2003 girl who often reads fashion magazines 7 times more likely to lose weight by dieting, using extreme, unhealthy weight loss behaviors (such as taking Weight loss pills or laxative. In total, Review article in 2010 Body image researcher Dr. Michael Levine and colleagues show a consistent and strong relationship between exposure to mass media and negative body image and eating disorders.
“We’ve done the best we can to demonstrate a causal relationship between looking at thin, idealized images and younger women, especially feeling worse about their own bodies,” says Dr. Jennifer Mills, clinical psychologist, York University, Ontario, Canada.
With the rise of digital editing programs like Photoshop and the advent of social media, awareness of the dangers of mass media images has grown.On one level, say Jennifer Harriger, Ph.D., a psychologist at Pepperdine University in California, believes that the images seen on social media are an extension of the images seen in advertisements. They promote the same beauty philosophy and often sell the same products. While many people on social media like to pretend their photos are on a whim, the reality is that most influencers heavily edit their images using Photoshop, digital filters, and more.
Not surprisingly, more research has shown that social media can play a role in negative body image and eating disorder Behavior as traditional mass media. What makes social media trickier, Mills explained, is that the images shown aren’t just celebrities, they’re classmates and colleagues as well. Adding fuel to the fire, the imagery is constantly changing and tailored to everyone’s interests.
“You can pick up a question Cosmo Going back in time, the other one won’t appear for another month, so what you can see is limited. The amount on social media is limitless,” she said.
This creates what researchers like Choukas-Bradley say “perfect storm“Images of the idealized body combined with adolescent female culture underscore the importance of an impossible-to-obtain body shape.
“To me, this illustrates how the body can be a source of latent capital and social mobility in our society,” said Rachel Rodgers, Ph.D., a psychologist at Northeastern University in Boston. “They’re not just promoting the idea that you should look like this, but you can look like this if you only spend your time, money and energy on the right products and services. It’s a powerful moral obligation Look that way.”
Social media whistleblowers like Frances Haugen testified before Congress about how social media sites harm children, revealing that companies like Meta (which owns Facebook and Instagram) and TikTok are well aware of the health and wellness impacts of their platforms — — Harriger explained, as their youngest user.
Some countries have tried to address this problem through legislation. In June 2021, the Norwegian legislature overwhelmingly passed a law requiring influencers and advertisers to issue disclaimers about when photos are digitally altered.While these disclaimers are well-intentioned, research shows that they have has no effect on our opinion dead body in photo we long to look like them.
The reason is that our brain first processes these images through an automatic and emotional pathway. We may not even realize we’re making these comparisons because they happen so quickly and without conscious thought, Fardouly explained. We can only process the disclaimer later through a second, slower neural pathway that takes seconds instead of milliseconds. But by then, the imagery had hit home.
Fardouly and Choukas-Bradley say there are studies on AI influencers.But all the experts I talked to Medical PhD Say their years of work have shown that the fact that these influencers are computer-generated has little to do with how we perceive their bodies.
“People still want to see it that way. They’re still going to compare to these images, and it makes them feel bad about themselves,” Fadouli said.
What are you looking at?
To date, AI influencers like Kyra and Miquela have echoed existing beauty ideals rather than challenging society’s supposed boundaries of beauty. As a result, they further reinforce a narrow range of body shapes and sizes. The fact that they are not real doesn’t make much of a difference.
Mills hopes AI influencers can provide reprieve to real-life influencers who build their lives around algorithms and the whims of advertisers. “It’s really hard being an influencer. You’re always going to do things that are fun and look good. It’s the perfect job for someone who is artificially created because it’s not a normal teenager life,” Mills said.
Of course, digital influencers are also unpaid, never grow old like their real-life characters, and don’t resemble the various scandals that other celebrities sometimes get involved in.
There’s still a lot of money to be made to keep people clicking, scrolling and buying, Rogers said. Instead, she thinks it’s better to focus her efforts on solving the algorithms that control the images we see.
She pointed out that the way things work now, you can’t tell Instagram what you don’t want to see. Instead, you have to purposely populate your feed with what you want to see.
“These platforms have a huge responsibility for the safety and well-being of their users,” Rogers said, “which is basically everyone in the world.”