The world is entering into a new era of robots, virtual money, and artificial intelligence.
Technology, computer-generated graphics, and AI have advanced so much that it is almost impossible for many to differentiate between what is real and what is computer-generated.
In this blog, we will deliberate on a similar subject.
Lil Miquela, a 19-year-old influencer with 3M followers, has been a topic of debate for influencers, tech-enthusiasts, and media personnel for months now.
She claims that she is a robot influencer but is she? Is Miquela actually a robot?
These are the questions that we are going to answer today.
As of now, Lil Miquela is a global pop star and has been titled one of the 25 Most Influential People on the Internet by TIME Magazine. She is also a musician, change-seeker, and style visionary.
Miquela took the internet by storm in 2016 when she started posting her life on Instagram.
She came across as a kind soul who wanted to use her platform to spread awareness.
However, at the time, no one knew that she was a robot. People just believed that she was another pretty influencer who was using photoshop to create vibrant images.
But we cannot blame anyone, at a first glance, Miquela can be understandably mistaken for a human being but what is she really?
If you are wondering whether Miquela is a robot or not, she is not. She is a digital influencer created using motion graphics. She is a combination of CGI and AI.
Who is Lil Miquela?
Lil Miquela or Miquela Sousa is an LA-based influencer who originally belongs to Downey, California.
When she first started posting on Instagram, it was believed that she was a human.
However, after two years of becoming an influencer on the platform, Miquela revealed that she is not human, rather she is a robot influencer.
But, this never stopped her from preaching what she thinks is right and standing up to make this world a better place according to her beliefs.
She was not afraid to talk about the struggles of real life which inspired many people and increased her followed by leaps and bounds within a few months.
She has also started a clothing line that is curated to help people build communities and accept differences.
She is regularly seen with two other CGI influencers Bermuda and Blawko in her pictures.
What are Lil Miquela’s Accomplishments?
Within six years of being an influencer, Lil Miquela has taken the world by storm and has worked with brands that most influencers still dream of.
As mentioned, she has already been called one of the world’s 25 most influential people on the internet.
In addition to this, she is a musician and a style visionary who has started her own clothing line as well.
In addition to starring with Bella Hadid and hanging out with Rosalia and Rico Nasty, she has worked with brands like Calvin Klein, Fenty Beauty, and Pat McGrath.
Reportedly, Miquela earned $12 million in 2020 alone and has donated thousands of dollars to after-school programs.
These are some of her main accomplishments. However, on top of these, her success has also inspired venture capitalists like Betaworks to invest heavily in virtual creators which have greatly pushed the advancement of technology forward.
The Technology Behind Lil Miquela?
Miquela is a creation of Brud that is a transmedia studio working on designing fictional characters living in the real world.
The company has revealed that she is modeled on a real person before animation which is why she thinks that she is actually a robot, but she is not.
She is a combination of computer-generated imagery and AI capabilities.
Lil Miquela is a prime example of how neural networks have advanced over the years.
In 2018, Brud’s founder and CEO Trevor McFedries outed that he is the collective consciousness behind the virtual influencer. He and his team are the working power behind the infamous celebrity.
Thanks to Miquela, McFedries’s startup is backed by some of the biggest names in the industry including Sequoia Capital.
Lil Miquela vs Traditional Robots
Although Lil Miquela believes she is a robot, she is not.
As mentioned, she is a combination of computer-generated images and AI.
Her pictures, her hair, and her clothes are all results of images generated using powerful programming and graphics.
She looks a lot like a normal human which is why initially, many people found it hard to believe that she was not human.
This makes her very different from traditional robots.
Traditional robots are still in the developmental phase and the humanoids don’t look anything like humans.
Rather, they are a combination of machine parts, screws, and programming.
Miquela moves around like a normal human and has the same dexterity when it comes to interacting with people, walking, and using her arms.
This is not yet seen in traditional robots.
What is Lil Miquela Capable of?
As of now, Lil Miquela is not capable of much on her own.
She mimics human elements and the basic autonomy to interact with others, however, most of these actions are guided by the team working behind the screens.
You can say that she is an amalgamation of a perfectly selected bunch of pixels that are being controlled by a team of programmers and writers who know how to write amazing captions.
Thus, Miquela is capable of whatever the team of programmers can make her do.
This includes talking on phone calls, shooting videos with real-life celebrities, taking and giving interviews, taking selfies, and more.
The Advantages Of Involving Lil Miquela Over Humans
Many companies allocate a huge chunk of advertisement budget to influencer marketing.
However, sometimes, they don’t get the results they were initially hoping for, either because the influencer does not agree with the brand image or because of physical or technical limitations.
This is where virtual influencers like Miquela come in. A virtual Influencer will do things the way you prefer.
In addition to this, there are no physical or technical limitations. Over the past year or so, in-person communications have been greatly limited.
At times like these, virtual influencers can help you eliminate any concerns you have. They don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on travel.
Moreover, they can work on the most ambitious projects without the risk of injury. Virtual influencers don’t get tired and will not call in sick.
Lastly, since you have complete control over how they depict your brand, you don’t have to worry about them saying anything controversial that will result in backlash.
Is Lil Miquela Real?
Lil Miquela looks realistic and mimics the movement of humans, however, she is not real.
She is as real as other art projects but if we talk about tangibility, she is neither a human nor a robot.
Despite this, like cartoons have an influence on the people watching, Lil Miquela also has widespread influence on people who follow her.
This is why many high-end brands are approaching her to work with her.
Is Lil Miquela Actually a Robot?
No, Lil Miquela is not a robot. However, since she is modeled over a real human and is designed using powerful graphics, she believes she is a robot and calls herself a robot influencer.
She is a digital avatar. Her movements and actions are like humanoids, but better which is why many people end up believing that she is a robot.
But, she has not been manufactured using motors, screws, and machine parts. Her existence is completely virtual.
Just like robots are believed to replace humans in general, people believe that virtual influencers, due to their advantages over human influencers, will replace them in the near future.
Miquela is a prime example of how CGI and AI can be used to create digital avatars that look as real as humans on Instagram.
However, know that Miquela does not act on her own.
She does use AI but the neural networks and intelligence used is not advanced enough to give her a brain of her own.
Nevertheless, this is expected to change in the near future.
Companies like Betaworks are already working on synthetic media to create better virtual influencers.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Who created Lil Miquela?
Lil Miquela was created by a startup called Brud.
Who controls Lil Miquela?
A team of programmers at Brud is responsible for controlling Miquela.
What kind of robot is Miquela?
Miquela is not a robot, she is a digital avatar.
How was Miquela made?
Miquela is a combination of CGI and AI.