Thanks to new technologies, flu is beyond human capacity

Thanks to new technologies, flu is beyond human capacity


For this second part of our influencer series, Agalia Tan, Planner, explores the impact of technology on influencer behaviors and how influence extends beyond human boundaries.

Once the monopoly of internet celebrities, influence has now become more democratic.

As major social networks move towards personalizing feeds, the platform’s algorithms have upended the conventional rules of influence: building an authentic personal brand and speaking the truth to create a community.

The rules have already changed since the pandemic fueled the age of TikTok, where anyone with a working internet connection and device has the opportunity to exert influence, in the form of catchy dance moves or reactionary videos.

Today we live in the era of the economy of the imagination.

Thanks to generative AI, now everyone has the ability to edit or generate any type of media (deepfake* or synthetic media) who can imagine and exert rapid influence.

That’s how Pablo Xavier, a 31-year-old construction worker from the Chicago area, blew the internet away with this infamous AI-generated image of the Pope wearing a Balenciaga puffer jacket. Or the anonymous Twitter user who created an image of the Pentagon explosion that sent the stock market crashing for 10 minutes.

The line between reality and fiction is increasingly blurred. So to the extent that regulations have yet to catch up with the speed of the AI ​​craze, people are peddling remix culture at the highest level.

Artists such as STR4NGETHING, Benjamin Benichou and Curious Refuge have demonstrated the ability to use artificial intelligence to unite seemingly disparate concepts, aesthetics or brands. Think hyper-realistic shoes inspired by the Renaissance, the Nike concept store on Mars and Star Wars, Wes Anderson’s version. Furthermore, the music industry is also suffering. After Drake and The Weekend’s AI-generated track “Heart on My Sleeve” went viral, TikTok is now teeming with fan creations like Harry Styles singing “Ceilings” in a duet with Lizzy McAlpine, or BlackPink’s Rose singing “I Kissed a Girl”.

At the current rate, experts estimate that up to 90% of online content could be generated synthetically by 2026.

Undoubtedly, this wave of deepfakes will lead to a fragmentation of Internet users’ attention. For the most popular, this new social reality requires a reorientation in their approach to navigating the influence landscape.

We already see several innovators at the forefront of new manifestations of influence leveraging new technologies to amplify influence in two key ways.


Some are using artificial intelligence to surpass “their human capabilities.”

Korean music giant Hybe used AI voice technology to launch MIDNATT, which serves as the alter ego of existing artist, Lee Hyun. While retaining Lee Hyun’s original vocal structure and musical expression, MIDNATT can sing fluently in six different languages, allowing her to appeal to a wider audience.

Other influencers, like Caryn Marjorie, have leveraged AI to create and foster ongoing touchpoints with their fans. Called CarynAI, her AI clone was formed from more than 2,000 hours of her YouTube content to infuse her personality into an immersive AI experience that offers followers “a one-of-a-kind interaction of her that feels like speaking directly with Caryn herself.”

Canadian musician Grimes has taken the interaction between fans and artists even further. Speaking of “collective ownership of the voice,” Grimes has pioneered new models of collaboration and co-creation with his audiences, enabling them use his voice completely freely, sharing the profits.


AI has also become a means of resurrecting or prolonging the flu.

Using AI technology to extract John Lennon’s voice from an old demo tape or with the release of their latest Beatles record later this year, drawing mixed reactions from fans. More recently, the controversial resurrection of Christopher Reeve and George Reeves in “The Flash” has raised questions about the commodification of the image and likeness of individuals, the degree of control actors should have over their intellectual property, and the boundary between homage and callous manipulation.


These questions also reflect the implications for brands.

Because deepfakes are an ongoing part of the economy of imagination, brands need to define a perspective on how they intend to coexist with artificial intelligence.

We’re already seeing two different approaches, with brands like Heinz seeing AI as a creativity multiplier, and others like Nikon choosing to endorse real, human-made content.

In the context of a booming remix culture, where consumers are still free to manipulate brands’ image in their creations, brands must also ask themselves to what extent they are willing to relinquish control of their intellectual property rights. Will stricter copyright controls help protect brand value or further alienate consumers? Or will adopting a shared ownership model become the new holy grail?

Ultimately, the key is experimentation. The brands that emerge victorious will be the ones that aren’t afraid to tinker and iterate with generative AI and ultimately rewrite the contemporary rules of the game to navigate this new social reality.

*The term deepfakes means a type of digital content, often a video or audio document, synthesized or edited using a process based on artificial intelligence.

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