FAUXS - Fake Human Influencers - Artificial Yes - Intelligence No

Fauxs - The Rise of Fake People+image
I use the tag #fauxs for the fake human "influencers" being deployed as we speak to activate the parts of you keyed to respond to the opinion-making power of other humans, but without the inconvenience of any of the needs shared by actual humans which incline us toward being humane. They are artificial, but not productive of intelligence.

This is the door to the dystopian sci-fi soon-to-be reality (available on every screen around you) in which actual humans are reduced to irrelevance, the juice of life is electric and for sale at an increasing price, and attention is drawn only by habit to what is fake and flashing. Why would anyone want a shift that dramatically increases the influence of faux people, perhaps until they are the model of what everyone tries to be like?  Those are the very traits that [are] so attractive to companies: “They’re much easier to control...It’s a more efficient way of controlling the message" and, I would argue, "their target audiences."

"[Those] of sense often learn from their enemies. It is from their [fauxs], not their friends, that cities learn the lesson of building high walls and ships." - Aristophanes

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Last year, the Federal Trade Commission updated its endorsement guides to require influencers to disclose their marketing relationships and identify paid posts with a hashtag like #ad or #sponsored—but it’s not clear how those rules would apply to influencers who aren't human, and whose backers, like Lil Miquela’s, are shrouding themselves in mystery. “If this influencer doesn’t disclose that a post is paid for, who is the FTC going to go after?” asks Adam Rivietz, cofounder and CSO of the influencer marketing company #paid.

Beyond that, Rivietz says, virtual influencers like Lil Miquela raise other concerns. After all, why should followers trust the opinion of someone who doesn’t exist? “Virtual influencers aren’t trying on a clothing brand," Rivietz points out. "They can’t tell you, ‘This shirt is softer than another and that’s one of the reasons you should buy it.’ They’re not real people, so they can’t give a totally authentic endorsement.” (Then again, according to Ryan Detert, CEO of the influencer marketplace Influential, those are the very traits that make virtual influencers so attractive to companies: “They’re much easier to control.”) In the near future, Rivietz thinks, many companies may begin building their own digital influencers, simply because it’s a more efficient way of controlling the message that reaches their target audiences.



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