The advent of artificial intelligence has had a transformative impact on various sectors, from education and the workplace to science and entertainment. Now, this technology has enabled people to create digital replicas of themselves, opening new doors to economic opportunities.
28-year-old Berlin-based model Sika Moon is a prime example. She has utilized artificial intelligence to craft a virtual alter ego that interacts with her online followers. “I used AI to create the woman I’ve always dreamt of becoming, and this digital version of me earns $20,000 a month,” says Moon.
Interestingly, Moon’s virtual self has garnered more attention than she has, despite her five years of experience in the modeling industry. Currently, she ranks among the top one percent of earners on Fanvue, a UK-based platform similar to OnlyFans that allows creators to monetize their content through images and videos
“SHE IS A PART OF ME”
After five years in the adult entertainment industry, Sika Moon felt the need for a change. Tired of the monotony and lack of creativity, she decided to explore the world of AI-powered art. “I ventured back into the artistic realm and was captivated by the endless possibilities of creating art with AI. I decided to digitally recreate myself, realizing the ideal version of the woman I’ve always wanted to be—eternally youthful, attractive, intelligent, and unique,” Sika explains.
According to Sika, her virtual persona is more than just a simulation; it’s an extension of herself. “She’s a part of me, and I adore it! My fans recognize that she’s like me, not some chatbot or agency-generated entity,” she says.
For a subscription fee of $10.99 per month, Fanvue allows users to interact with and consume content from Sika’s digital twin.
This development comes in the context of a larger trend involving AI-generated virtual companions. The AI industry is experiencing unprecedented growth, with thousands of virtual personas appearing on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. These digital beings fulfill a range of unmet desires, often providing an avenue for connection where real human interaction falls short. “This is really just the dawn of the AI creative economy,” Sika comments.
Many influencers like Sika utilize platforms like ‘Anydream’ to assist in crafting their digital selves. This service combines photography and text-based prompts to generate highly realistic images of the desired characters, whether male or female.
EXPERTS ARE WORRIED
While the allure of AI-created virtual personas is undeniable, experts caution against wholehearted embrace without scrutiny. Psychologist Dr. Catherine Hallissey highlights the ethical considerations that developers should keep in mind, particularly concerning unrealistic beauty standards:
“Digital avatars like these often showcase exaggerated, flawless features that set an impossible standard of beauty. When individuals negatively compare themselves to such unachievable ideals, the repercussions on self-esteem and body image can be detrimental. For some people, these unrealistic portrayals can intensify feelings of inadequacy and even lead to body dysmorphia,” warns Dr. Hallissey.
As AI technology continues to evolve and permeate different sectors, the discussion about its ethical implications, especially those related to body image and self-perception, becomes increasingly pertinent.