How does she look in thumbnails? Have you noticed any unnatural or awkward points? If you watched her self-introduction video without English subtitles, you might think she is just another ordinary Korean girl. However, you will soon realize that she is not a real person after watching her video. Rui, the YouTuber, is a virtual YouTuber who only exists on YouTube.
What about these girls in the Instagram post? Yes, they are also virtual influencers with a bunch of followers. Their nationality, race, age, and jobs are various and colorful. Shudu is the world’s first digital model, Rozy is a Korean girl whom none noticed her identity at the beginning, and Imma from Japan has pink hair color. Their fashion, daily life, and style are widely being loved by people around the world from teenagers to adults, dragging more and more followers day by day. If you want to check them out, visit them on Instagram: @shudu.gram, @rozy.gram, @imma.gram.
While various types of AI technologies are used to design virtual influencers, and YouTubers, some representative technologies such as motion capture, face recognition, real-time rendering system, and lip-sync are applied. Let’s take a closer look at the production stages of Rui’s face. First, creators gather portrait rights-free facial data to provide learning materials to AI systems. Then, AI technologies generate a new face mixed from the data, featuring that fabricated face on videos. For Rui, a friendly version of fabrications was chosen to attract more subscribers.
Next question is, what makes virtual YouTubers, influencers stay in their shell and coming out to the world with invented faces? According to research and surveys, many are unsatisfied with the reflection of their faces on the mirror, video, and pictures so they end up being timid to show up on the internet.
As one of the solutions, they create a second identity digitally that allows them to genuinely represent thoughts and inner self to the public, to be free from malicious comments related to appearances, and to reduce phycological pressure factors. In the near future, as we live in the rapidly changing digital world where people communicate with each other remotely, digital second identity is more likely to be a trend. If you are a trendsetter, try out making a digital second character equipped with your unique characteristics before anyone else!