Did you know that Shudu Gram, the first digital supermodel is the creation of fashion photographer Cameron-James Wilson. Shudu has 217k Instagram followers and though it is now known that she is a virtual model, for long instagrammers thought she was real. This is because Shudu was given a personality of her own. Those who know her know that she even aims to “champion diversity in the fashion world, collaborate with creators from emerging economies and under-represented communities and get together with up-and-coming designers.”
Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) makes one think of special effects in movies and video games. But the scope of CGI has expanded manifold and the tech is being increasingly applied across industries. The fashion industry is a great example. The industry is using CGI for advertising & marketing and hence driving sales by using digital models and influencers instead of real-life ones. Virtual models are a great way to showcase the latest collections of fashion houses in Covid-19 era where lockdowns and other restrictions are making it impossible for real time fashion shows to be held. It only helps brands that CGI due to its digital nature helps in saving ‘fashion waste’ as digital models can present clothes which are yet to be manufactured.
Models like Shudu will soon be able to pose like real models using GANs. But what is of utmost concern and almost a threat to human fashion models is the fact that digital models have a ‘voice’, a story, a personality, and a cause just like Shudu. While GANs can be trained to generate model-like poses, e-commerce platforms for whom personalization of the experience is everything, are looking forward to a day when using deepfakes, customers can actually see their faces and visualize themselves wearing an outfit.
Swedish multinational conglomerate IKEA too is using CGI to showcase its wares in catalogues thereby replacing traditional photography at a fast pace. The brand gets the advantage of showing their product in a much greater detail using CGI. IKEA Japan is already using a CGI model, a virtual influencer called Imma in their campaign IKEA with Imma. As part of the campaign, the CGI model Imma was made to live in an IKEA apartment in their Harajaku shop in Tokyo. People could see Imma in the apartment in which she was seeing doing yoga, chopping food and other day-to-day chores using IKEA products in an IKEA decorated home. The objective of this campaign was to inspire youth to find happiness in their homes during Covid times. Moreover, Imma kept posting her activities in the IKEA home on Instagram for her followers to see. The future is indeed here!
It’s most obvious in the digital media space, from click buys to personalized web experiences. For marketing, the AI journey has just kick-started, while in the tech sector it has been applied for a while now. We are still at an early stage where inroads are being made into AI content via chatbots and even some explanatory content creation but what will make anyone jump up and embrace it is when we will start seeing a lot of mainstream content being created by AI.
Prior to joining Infinite Analytics, Richard served as the CFO of CrowdFlower, COO and CFO of Phoenix Technologies, as a member of the board of directors and chairman of the Audit Committee at Intellisync, and previously as CFO and executive vice president strategy and corporate development at Charles Schwab.
Pravin Gandhi has over 50 years of entrepreneurial operational and investing experience in the IT industry in India. He was a founding partner of the first early stage fund India - INFINITY. Subsequently a founding partner in Seedfund I & II. With over 18 years of investing experience, he is extensively well networked in investment and entrepreneurial scene and is an active early stage angel investor in tech & impact space. Pravin holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Cornell University, and serves on the board of several private corporations in India. He is on the board of SINE, IIT Mumbai Incubator.
Puru has his Masters in Engineering and Management from MIT. Prior to MIT, he worked with Fidelity Investments building electronic trading products and high volume market data processing applications. He has completed his BE from VJTI, Mumbai.
Deb Roy is Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT where he directs the MIT Center for Constructive Communication, and a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School. He leads research in applied machine learning and human-machine interaction with applications in designing systems for learning and constructive dialogue, and for mapping and analyzing large scale media ecosystems. Deb is also co-founder and Chair of Cortico, a nonprofit social technology company that develops and operates the Local Voices Network to surface underheard voices and bridge divides.
Roy served as Executive Director of the MIT Media Lab from 2019-2021. He was co-founder and CEO of Bluefin Labs, a media analytics company that analyzed the interactions between television and social media at scale. Bluefin was acquired by Twitter in 2013, Twitter’s largest acquisition of the time. From 2013-2017 Roy served as Twitter’s Chief Media Scientist.
Erik Brynjolfsson is the Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Professor and Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI (HAI), and Director of the Stanford Digital Economy Lab. He also is the Ralph Landau Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), Professor by Courtesy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Stanford Department of Economics, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
Akash co-founded IA while studying for his MBA from MIT. Prior to MIT Sloan, he co-founded Zoonga. Before this, Akash was an engineer with Oracle in Silicon Valley. He has completed his M.S from University of Cincinnati and B.E from the College of Engineering, Pune.