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Forget Build-A-Bear — We Can Build An Influencer Now

It’s never been easier to create a fake influencer.

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Credit: Youtube/Fireship

AI-generated influencers have been taking social media by storm. From the virtual Aitana Lopez to the CGI creation Maquela, technology has provided marketing agencies with the perfect solution to ever more unattainable beauty standards online. There’s no need for agents to ask creators to spend weeks going under the knife or changing their diet to keep up with new trends. With an AI influencer, changes can be made in minutes, with the press of a button.

And now you can make your own artificially generated influencer – or indeed any other individual – at home. You don’t even need to be a computer genius to do it.

Six months ago, a YouTube video was uploaded by an educational creator called Fireship. The video, less than five minutes long, details a step-by-step process of AI-generating an influencer. The best bit: it can be done for free.

Read on for a step-by-step breakdown of the simple process.

Why generate an influencer?

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Influencers captivate us online.
Credit: Shutterstock/Antonio Guillem

Before getting into the technicalities, you have to wonder about the motivation behind creating a virtual influencer. Whilst it seems like a fun project for a rainy day, the reality is that invisible puppeteers are putting in hours behind the scenes, constantly creating and scheduling content. The amount of work involved outweighs any motives of simple curiosity or seeing how far technology can go.

It comes down to money. If you can build a following for a virtual influencer, there is a huge scope for profit. The costs are low. No need to pay for flights to different countries, clothes, makeup, or a wage for the influencers themselves.

However, the opportunities for revenue are endless. A virtual influencer can be made to accept whatever brand deal is most lucrative. They don’t have a say in what they want to represent. Likewise, in the case of Aitana Lopez, they have no qualms about bringing home the bacon through adult platforms like OnlyFans.

The possibilities for profit are only limited by your imagination. Which new and interesting poses can you think of to captivate the internet? Which fun location will attract the most interest? You can decide it all.

What technology do I need to AI-generate an influencer?

In the past couple of years, AI has become more prevalent and more accessible than ever before. From Chat GPT to Snapchat’s AI bots, using AI has never been easier for “normal people.”

The tutorial by Fireship outlines the complex first steps, including creating your own Open-Source AI checkpoint. However, other people have already created these, so you can simply access one of theirs on a site called civitai.

The next step is to find a web user interface (webui). The video recommends going to “stable-diffusion-webui” for users well-versed in technology. Alternatively, for beginners, you can go to “comfy-UI”. Finally, “fooocus” is another recommended webui that is used in the video. We would recommend watching some online tutorials on how to use these.

The tutorial goes on to detail how to install the technology using basic coding skills. You then need a GeoForce RTX to help with graphics.

How do I AI-generate images?

@mr.paidsocial

Replying to @SilisaB #greenscreenvideo #greenscreen LEARN HOW TO SPOT Ai The eyes 👀 The head movements 🥴 The phrasing and pauses 🤐 And the whole picture just gives off this unreal feeling. #ai #aivideo #aicontentcreator #aiinfluencer

♬ original sound – Caleb | Ads | Ai | Automation

After completing the steps above, you can start generating images. The best part is, if you click on “advanced settings” and then “style,” you can generate your images in whatever style you wish, whether that’s hyper-realistic or retro. The world is your oyster!

For a realistic influencer, click on “fooocus V2,” “fooocus enhance,” “fooocus sharp,” and “fooocus photograph.”

Then, type an extremely specific prompt. Detail that it should be a “highly realistic portrait.” Then say that it should be a “beautiful woman,” if that’s the type of influencer you want to generate. Finally, specify hair and eye colour, and select a few features to make her seem more realistic, like “no makeup,” “dimples,” and “light acne scars,” and specify her ethnicity.

It will generate an image, and if you’re happy with it, make sure to save it. Then, start a new image project and check the box that says “input image.” This will make sure that your influencer has the same face in every image.

Next, upload your image into “image prompt.” Click on “advanced” and “face swap.”

Write a text prompt of her doing whatever you want. Lounging in a bikini by the beach, in a board room — if you can think it up, AI can make it.

How to deal with imperfections

AI-generated images are notorious for certain imperfections that make them easy to spot. Social media users have noted that hands in particular cause problems for computers.

Luckily, you can fix that! Go to “inpaint,” circle the area, and then type in any changes that you want.

In addition, you can create videos from your content. There are other tutorials detailing how to do this.

But should you build an influencer?

Whilst it’s comparatively easy to generate an AI-influencer, there are moral and ethical questions surrounding the practice.

@brutamerica

These AI-generated influencers are the target of a petition signed by thousands of parents. Here’s what’s going on…

♬ original sound – Brut.

These influencers negatively impact the livelihoods of the thousands of online creators already struggling to make a living from what they love. Furthermore, they feed into the epidemic of body dysmorphia among social media users. No amount of filters or plastic surgery will enable you to compete with someone specifically computer-generated to fit the beauty standard.

Finally, these influencers can be used for adult platforms. If everyone has the power to create the perfect person to arouse them, is there any hope for real-life partners to compete?

Though the technology is cool and fun to see in action, it’s only going to become more and more accessible to the public. And when we can’t tell what’s real and what’s fake any longer, I can’t help but wonder about the future of both influencer marketing and human civilisation as we know it.

Written By

Hi, I'm Georgie and I'm currently studying at St Andrews University, Scotland. I love writing about social media trends and unpicking the ways which platforms like Instagram and TikTok give rise to certain cultural phenomena. I'm writing for the Life section of Trill at the moment, so look out for my articles!

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