A Canadian model says the rapid rise of artificial intelligence is changing the modelling industry and could eventually take her source of income.
“We did start to see avatars pop up over the last couple of years and now we’re seeing AI-generated models,” Sinead Bovell told CTV’s Your Morning on Friday. “Modelling agencies are popping up, one of them being a deep agency, a company that offers only AI models.”
The increased understanding of AI and the fears around how quickly the technology is rolled out recently prompted Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and other computer and tech experts to call for a six-month pause on AI.
But Bovell says in many industries, including modelling, the “cat’s out of the bag.”
“There’s no going back,” she said. “I do think that message from AI researchers to potentially slow down has sparked an important public conversation around the pace of technology, and why it’s moving so fast.”
To keep up with the trend, Bovell says some models like Bella Hadid have created a “digital twin” of themselves. The avatar was featured in a runway film in the spring of 2021 for Mugler, a high-end fashion brand. But the interaction with AI avatars could be problematic, Bovell said.
“I would caution models,” Bovell said. “Make sure you have ownership over your likeness and pivoting, learning additional skills, and really leaning into your human story, something that an AI can never own.”
Bovell says the pace at which tech like AI chatbot ChatGPT and AI avatars rolled out should be controlled and not done without ethical considerations.
Bovell said computer-generated models have already gained in popularity, with AI Miquela reaching 2.8 million followers on Instagram and getting brand deals.
“We need a bit more communication between researchers, AI companies, and government themselves,” she said. “So what that could look like is maybe an AI pathway to preparedness, researchers get the chance to experiment with models before they go live, so society isn’t a guinea pig on new technology — especially guinea pigs without any guardrails.”
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