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Meet the AI influencers ALREADY making millions from mega deals with fashion giants – could you tell they don’t exist?

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Meet the AI influencers ALREADY making millions from mega deals with fashion giants - could you tell they don't exist?

THEIR jet-set lifestyles, stunning wardrobes and perfect figures leave mere mortals drooling with envy.

Influencers Lil Miquela, Imma and supermodel Shudu have raked in millions from deals with fashion giants such as Dior, Calvin Klein, Chanel and Prada.

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Last week, Nordic model Milla Sofia duped Twitter users into believing her bikini photos were authenticCredit: Twitter / AiModelMilla
It comes amid a growing number of dupe profiles on social media - with computer-generated characters so realistic they can fool humans

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It comes amid a growing number of dupe profiles on social media – with computer-generated characters so realistic they can fool humansCredit: Getty

Almost eight million fans on social media are fascinated by every detail of their lives, especially Lil Miquela’s relationship with fellow “star” Blawko.

But these shiny celebrities all have one thing in common — not one of them is real.

Welcome to the world of the virtual influencer, which is already estimated to be worth an eye-watering £3.5billion and is projected to grow by 26 per cent by 2025, experts claim.

Tech firms behind the computer-generated characters — made by graphic designers and digital artists using artificial intelligence — can rake in as much as £8,000 for a social media post by collaborating with big brands.

And the dupe profiles are so realistic, many followers are convinced they are humans.

Just last week, Nordic model Milla Sofia duped Twitter users into believing her glam bikini pics — supposedly posted from all over the world — were authentic.

Despite her account stating she is a “19-year-old robot girl”, fans were quick to call her gorgeous, sexy and beautiful, with just a handful of people pointing out she was made by AI.

Ted Murphy, founder of global influencer marketing firm IZEA, says the rise of virtual characters will transform the advertising landscape.

He told The Sun: “They are not confined by human limitations.

“They can be in multiple places at once, speak any language, perform incredible feats and even undergo a total redesign at will.

“This offers boundless creative potential for brand storytelling, marketing and audience engagement.”

Instagram expert Estelle Keeber, of consultancy Immortalmonkey.com, said AI streamers are becoming more and more popular because they offer brands a “high level of control” over their messaging.

She said: “AI doesn’t have personal biases or controversial opinions that could negatively impact brand image.

“They can maintain a consistent presence online, posting at predetermined times without fatigue, which ensures regular engagement with the target audience and potential customers.

“There is also a cost benefit. Instead of hiring expensive models and photographers, companies and brands can create stunning custom visuals with AI-generated characters which are budget friendly and still looking fabulous.”

But Estelle warned business chiefs to “strike a balance” between virtual and real influencers to avoid alienating customers.

In 2019, car maker Renault became one of the first global firms to create a virtual beauty for a TV advert, launching dark-haired Liv — an inoffensive everywoman in her 20s.

Samsung followed by hiring Lil Miquela — who is projected to earn £9million this year — for its #teamgalaxy campaign.

The 19-year-old “robot living in LA” was named one of Time Magazine’s top 25 most influential people on the internet in 2018 and went on to star in an advert for Calvin Klein with top model Bella Hadid.

‘Mesmerising idea’

With 3.6million followers on TikTok and 2.7million on Instagram, Lil Miquela — created by American AI company Brud — is considered the Queen of virtual reality.

But there are plenty of other stars, including Shudu, with 240,000 Insta followers and who can command up to £400 per post, and Japanese creation Imma, who landed a deal to promote furniture giant Ikea.

But she calls for strict regulations - since as it develops, we may not know what is real any more

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But she calls for strict regulations – since as it develops, we may not know what is real any moreCredit: Getty

Presenter Lara Lewington, who co-hosts the BBC’s weekly flagship technology show Click, said the virtual influencers appeal to Gen Z, who are looking for novel engagement.

Though she is calling for strict regulations, amid fears of a future which blurs the lines between reality and fiction.

Lara told us: “In a way I think ‘Why not use AI?’. It’s a mesmerising idea and influencers can be created in the exact way companies want to create them.

“Firms have always embraced technology in advertising and this is just the latest way of doing things.

“Artificial intelligence will become embedded more and more around us and we, as humans, will decide what we want to engage with.

“Some people will be interested in it, while others will feel these influencers are a step too far.

“One of the big issues is that, as it develops, we may not know what’s real any more and you have to ask if that will become more and more of a problem on social media.

“Measures are being talked about to ensure people can differentiate.

“One idea is to watermark AI content, but it relies on creators to do it properly.”

There are also worries over how much power these fabricated figures could wield.

Bermuda is an American influencer who trash talks rivals and once pushed the Trump agenda before switching political allegiances when he left the White House.

She caused a furore in 2018 by posting: “It’s OK to be white. I said it and I’m not afraid to say it: I am proud to be a white woman.”

Journalist Lara says it is posts such as Bermuda’s that concern her.

She added: “Artificial intelligence is such an emotive subject because humanity can feel threatened, and if it can create a virtual person, you don’t want it creating a dictator with a whole agenda that can live on for ever.”

Statistics reveal that some 60 per cent of people follow at least one virtual influencer.

And among those who don’t, 51 per cent of social media users admitted they simply have no interest in them.

Figures from the Influencer Marketing factory also show that, of those who follow robot accounts, 28 per cent engage on TikTok and YouTube and around 20 per cent on TikTok.

PR expert Mark Borkowski believes AI can never compete with real brand ambassadors, even when they become embroiled in drama and scandal.

He said: “Although AI will tick all the boxes, an old-fashioned story always wins.

“People are drawn to things that are new and shiny and will dive in.

“But they can get bored quickly and move on.

“Just because someone follows something, it doesn’t mean they are actively engaging with it.

“Are you going to tell me that fake AI replaces the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo or Kylie Jenner? Of course not.”

Below we highlight some of the top AI influencers . . .

Lil Miquela

Computer wizardry to create and mix music lets this 'influencer' have songs on Spotify

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Computer wizardry to create and mix music lets this ‘influencer’ have songs on SpotifyCredit: Instagram / lilmiquela

Worth: An estimated £10million and can charge up to £8,000 a post.

Profile: Claims to be a 19-year-old robot living in LA but was created by American AI company Brud.

Loves Cardi B, supports #blacklivesmatter and transgender rights.

Computer wizardry to create and mix music lets the Brazilian-American have songs on Spotify.

Has partnered with brands such as Pacsun and Prada.

Followers: 2.7million on Instagram, 3.6million on TikTok.

Controversy: Model Bella Hadid was accused of “queer baiting” after “kissing” Lil Miquela in a Calvin Klein advert. The firm later apologised.

Bermuda

Bermuda was valued at £440,000 a year until she mysteriously stopped posting in 2020 amid a row over her inventors

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Bermuda was valued at £440,000 a year until she mysteriously stopped posting in 2020 amid a row over her inventorsCredit: Instagram / bermudaisbae

Worth: Valued at £440,000 a year until she mysteriously stopped posting in 2020 amid a row over her inventors.

Profile: Trump supporter who trashed other influencers. Posted memes condemning Hillary Clinton.

Her virtual boyfriend is Blawko.

Followers: 244,000 on Instagram.

Controversy: Bermuda was thought to be the brainchild of mysterious US firm Cain Intelligence.

But when she allegedly hacked Lil Miquela’s profile in 2018, it sparked rumours she was also created by Brud.

Mikirah Muse

Mikirah is a curvy 'model' who calls herself a singer, DJ and producer

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Mikirah is a curvy ‘model’ who calls herself a singer, DJ and producerCredit: Instagram / mikirahmuse

Worth: £100 an Instagram post.

Profile: The curvy “model” first appeared on Instagram in February 2021, calling herself a singer, DJ and producer – but little else is known.

Appears to be based in America.

Followers: 3,500 on Instagram

Controversy: None . . . yet.

Milla Sofia

Milla set up her Instagram just profile last month, and already has 52,000 followers

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Milla set up her Instagram just profile last month, and already has 52,000 followersCredit: Supplied

Worth: Having set up her Instagram profile just last month, there are not many financial details on Milla.

But with 52,000 followers, she could charge up to £350 a post on the platform.

Profile: Pictured in a selection of itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny bikinis.

Followers: 52.7k on Instagram, 90,000 on TikTok and 12.5k on Twitter (now X)

Controversy: Mila looks so realistic that X users were fooled into thinking she was real.

It appears many were too busy admiring her pictures to read her bio, where she describes herself as a “24-year-old robot girl living in Helsinki”.

Imma

Imma is Japan's first virtual model and took part in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games closing ceremony

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Imma is Japan’s first virtual model and took part in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games closing ceremonyCredit: Instagram / imma

Worth: £505,000 a year and £1,000 a post.

Profile: Japan’s first virtual model, invented by tech firm Aww Inc, who is known for her bubblegum pink bob.

She has worked with top brands including Porsche Japan, Ikea, Dior, Puma, Nike, Valentino and Amazon.

Followers: 11,100 on Twitter (now X) and 399,000 on Instagram.

Controversy: Took part in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games, where she “participated” in the closing ceremony, marking a first for the virtual world.

BLAWKO

Blawko is a streetwise 'bad boy' who once 'dated' Bermuda - leading to more questions as to who's behind the Trump-supporting influencer

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Blawko is a streetwise ‘bad boy’ who once ‘dated’ Bermuda – leading to more questions as to who’s behind the Trump-supporting influencerCredit: Instagram/blawko22

Worth: An estimated £159,000 a year and £600 per Instagram post.

Profile: A streetwise bad boy who lives in LA and dates Lil Miquela.

They were created by the same tech firm, Brud.

Never seen without a mask covering his lower face, even before the pandemic.

He was once represented by top PR firm Huxley and has worked with fashion brands including Balenciaga and Supreme.

Followers: More than 224,000 on YouTube and 130,000 on Facebook.

Controversy: Once “dated” Lil Miquela’s rival Bermuda, which led to even more questions about who was behind the Trump-supporting influencer.

Shudu

Shudu's creator Cameron-James Wilson was accused of denying real black women the chance to model

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Shudu’s creator Cameron-James Wilson was accused of denying real black women the chance to modelCredit: Instagram / shudu.gram

Worth: Earns around £96,000 a year and can charge up to £400 a post.

Profile: The creation of British fashion photographer Cameron-James Wilson, she claims to be the world’s first AI supermodel.

Recently seen in Louis Vuitton cothing for a shoot in Harper’s Bazaar magazine.

Followers: 240,000 on Instagram.

Controversy: Cameron-James was accused of denying real black women the chance to model.

He later said: “There’s a big kind of movement with dark skin models. So she represents them and is inspired by them.”

Kyra

India's first meta-influencer Kyra attends music festivals worldwide and has endorsed Indian brands

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India’s first meta-influencer Kyra attends music festivals worldwide and has endorsed Indian brandsCredit: Instagram / kyraonig

Worth: Not yet known

Profile: India’s first meta-influencer launched her career as a “dream chaser, model and traveller” last year.

She attends music festivals worldwide and has endorsed Indian brands including Morris Garages and Navro phones.

At least three dead in plane crash as emergency services scrambled to scene
Gilgo suspect's ‘biggest mistake revealed & shows he's a narcissist'

Followers: 215,000 on Instagram and 1,800 on YouTube.

Controversy: Instagram critics claim that she looks “cartoonish”, with one saying: “The human vibe we get is lost.”



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Elon Musk reinstates far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on X

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Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been reinstated on X, formerly known as Twitter, by company owner Elon Musk

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been reinstated on X, formerly known as Twitter, by company owner Elon Musk – Copyright GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File Joe Buglewicz

Elon Musk, the billionaire owner of X, on Sunday reinstated far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on the social media platform, a year after vowing never to let him return.

Jones, who claimed that a December 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that killed 20 children and six educators was a hoax, was banned from the platform — then still known as Twitter — in 2018 for violating its “abusive behavior policy.”

He was also sued by families of the victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting and ordered by a judge in the case to pay up more than a billion dollars in damages last year.

Musk had himself promised never to let the Infowars host back on the social media platform, which he bought last year for $44 billion.

But following a poll Musk conducted on X asking whether Jones should be reinstated, to which some two million users responded, he flipped that decision.

“I vehemently disagree with what he said about Sandy Hook, but are we a platform that believes in freedom of speech or are we not?” the SpaceX founder said on X.

But Shannon Watts, founder of the group Moms Demand Action group which pushes for tighter gun laws, said that “defamation is not free speech.”

Musk’s decision comes the same week that the Sandy Hook families commemorate the 11th anniversary of the December 14 shooting, which Jones alleged was staged to allow the government to crack down on gun rights.

Jones’ followers harassed the bereaved families for years, accusing parents of murdered children of being “crisis actors” whose children had never existed.

It also came a week after Musk had responded to advertisers pulling out of X because of far-right posts and hate speech, including an apparent endorsement by Musk himself of an anti-Semitic tweet.

Asked whether he would respond to the advertising exodus, Musk said in an interview with journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin that the advertisers could “go f*** yourself.”

Jones, who has a million followers on X, returned to the site with his first post re-tweeting Andrew Tate, the controversial former kickboxer facing rape and human trafficking charges in Romania, in which he hailed Jones’ “triumphant return”

US media reported that as of Sunday, the account of Jones’ controversial show Infowars was still banned.

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Instagram Launches New ‘Close Friends Only’ Podcast to Showcase Celebrity Users

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Instagram Launches New ‘Close Friends Only’ Podcast to Showcase Celebrity Users

Not sure if this will be a valuable addition, or another stream that’ll fade out pretty quick, as Meta stops paying attention to it.

Today, Instagram has launched a new podcast called “Close Friends Only”, which it says will present “the latest on culture – from memes and icks, to fashion and friendship – all from your favorite celebrities.

And they’ve gone big out of the gate, with the first episode featuring Ice Spice in conversation with Doja Cat.

The conversation sees the two stars discuss their favorite memes, their favorite animals, celebrity crushes, experiences in flirting on IG, their juiciest DMs, and more.

Which will no doubt get a heap of attention, and will help make Instagram a bigger focus for youngsters seeking to replicate their idols. But in terms of practical advice or tips, yeah, there might not be a heap there.

But it could be worth tuning in anyway, in order to get the lowdown on the latest trends, from some of the people that are leading the way on cultural shifts.

But then again, as noted, it’ll be interesting to see how IG follows this first episode up, and whether they keep running regular episodes of the podcast with more celebrities.

Either way, it’s an interesting promotional vehicle for IG, especially given that it’s focusing on musicians, as TikTok becomes an even more critical platform for music promotion.

Maybe, then, this will be Instagram’s counter to that, but again, we’ll have to wait and see whether more episodes arrive.

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Who is HRH Collection founder and YouTuber, Alexandra Peirce?

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Who is HRH Collection founder and YouTuber, Alexandra Peirce?

ALEXANDRA Peirce proves there’s no such thing as bad publicity, garnering more fans and subscribers every time she posts one of her infamous video rants.

Peirce, known better by her social media pseudonym HRH Collection, has been an internet mainstay for years, and her fame only continues to grow after sharing more of her contentious takes online.

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HRH Collection founder and YouTuber, Alexandra Peirce, poses for a photo on her Instagram showcasing pieces from her jewelry lineCredit: Instagram/ therealhrhcollection

Who is Alexandra Peirce?

Alexandra Peirce is a social media personality, influencer, and jewelry designer.

Peirce was born on May 13, 1984, in the US.

She currently resides near Los Angeles, California.

Before launching her famous YouTube channel, Peirce graduated from college in 2007 with a degree in political science.

In 2009, she earned a master’s degree in international business.

While in graduate school, Peirce studied abroad in Shanghai, China, where she says she “fell in love with all things Asian.”

Peirce returned to the US during the peak of the 2008 economic recession, forcing her to move in with her parents.

Despite applying for countless jobs, she couldn’t land a position, leading her to create her YouTube channel.

Peirce post her first video, a “What’s in my bag” vlog where she walked viewers through everyday items she carried in her purse.

Peirce kept the channel going even after landing a job in accounting, posting videos and designing jewelry pieces during lunch breaks and after hours.

Fueled by her growing subscriber count, her design hobby would eventually turn into a full-fledged company, HRH Collection.

While Peirce now runs her jewelry line full-time, she is even better known on the internet for her viral videos, which typically show Peirce sitting in her car, ranting about anything from current events and pop culture trends to hairstyles and holidays.

Her videos are often cut up and reposted on TikTok, where select sound clips go viral.

Some of Peirce’s most well-known tirades include her take on beachy waves – “it’s not the vibe, stop!” – and her controversial views on Women’s Day – ““I think it’s stupid. I really do.”

Nevertheless, Peirce has amassed a legion of hardcore fans and haters who can’t help but watch her scream and shout her opinion on just about everything.

Peirce’s controversial videos (and views) have been compared to other un-cancellable influencers, like Trisha Paytas and Theo Von.

Who else could get away with yelling: “Shut up! Stop being fat! Stop being ugly!” at her viewers, who keep coming back for more?

It seems like no matter what she posts, or how many people disagree with her, viewers can’t help but leave her videos wanting more.

One TikTok user commented: “This woman is actually problematic but my brain is itched by the way she complains because it’s exactly how I think when I’m annoyed.”

Despite – or maybe because of – the controversies, Peirce has continued to grow her social media following.

Her Instagram account boasts 118,000 followers, despite several of her past accounts being banned or deleted.

Peirce’s X account is currently suspended, but that hasn’t stopped the internet icon from sharing her views online.

Her YouTube channel, which hosts over 600 videos, has 449,000 subscribers.

The hashtag #hrhcollection has also garnered nearly 1 billion views on TikTok, from reposted videos to sound bites.

Peirce has also garnered fame via interviews with BuzzFeed News and Interview Magazine, and appeared on podcasts like The Spillover With Alex Clark.

What is HRH Collection?

HRH Collection is a jewelry line created by Alexandra Peirce.

Besides rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets, the website also sells bag chains, keychains, ankle socks, t-shirts, and a windbreaker.

On the company’s about page, Peirce explains that the e-commerce site “started as a hobby and has now grown into a company that I’m so proud to call my own.”

Peirce first designed “a Japanese style frosting cupcake ring and key fob,” sharing the pieces on her YouTube channel.

Viewers were interested in purchasing the items, leading Peirce to create La Lumiere, mixing chain metals with assorted crystals to create bracelets and necklaces.

Peirce wore her jewelry to work and showcased her pieces on her social media, leading to steady stream of customers and orders.

From there, Peirce launched an Etsy shop, juggling her full time job alongside designing new pieces and fulfilling online orders.

Peirce states that she is “so thankful” for everyone who helped her along the way, but also offers some practical advice for anyone who hopes to turn their hobby into a viable career, saying she was “strategic” in developing HRH.

She writes: “Many of you guys ask me if you should quit your jobs to pursue YouTube or your other hobbies.”

“To be completely honest, I do not think you should quit your job for any hobby, until you have grown your company into one that can reasonably replace your job – this is very important.”

HRH collection features hundreds of items, with most priced between $50 and $150.

Shoppers can also select items from “Alex’s Musts,” which includes products like a $190 sterling silver tennis necklace, a trio of mixed metal rings for $87, and $59 diet soda hoops, resembling soda can tops.

Consumers looking for unique pieces are in luck, as there is a limited amount of inventory available per item, with many pieces already sold out.

Alexandra Peirce poses with her husband, Jason Locke, and her dog, Ming, for a photo on Instagram

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Alexandra Peirce poses with her husband, Jason Locke, and her dog, Ming, for a photo on InstagramCredit: Instagram/ therealhrhcollection

Is Alexandra Peirce married?

Peirce came under fire from both her fans and haters after getting married on June 16, 2023, to her second husband, Jason Locke.

The influencer was mocked for her dress, venue, food, and overall wedding aesthetic.

She was also trolled on social media for live-streaming the event, charging users $25 to watch the party.

Peirce chose to wear a short, white, recycled Zara dress for the reception, while the groom chose to don a camouflaged Trump/Pence hat.

After a small ceremony at Bethania Lutheran Church, a reception was held in the parking lot of the Hitching Post, a BBQ joint in Buellton, California.

The eatery’s website says it is known for its wines and West Coast barbecue, and guests dined on veggies, garlic bread, and quesadillas, among other items.

Decorations were minimal, with few flowers adorning the white tent erected in the parking lot.

Each table did come with a cherry-scented ashtray candle, personalized with ‘Mr. & Mrs. Locke’ in a gothic font.

Peirce then changed into yoga pants before heading off to a local casino with her new beau and a few close friends, keeping the party going well into the morning hours.

Many users took to X to share their thoughts.

Some users called the wedding trashy, while others lamented the party’s seemingly low budget.

One user tweeted: “You had a trailer park wedding” along with a crying and skull emojis.

Another wrote: “how can hrh collection talk about anyone when her dress looks like it came out of a Zara clearance section?”

One influencer even branded the event as “the tackiest wedding ever.”

Peirce fought back, going after her online haters and critics in another one of her infamous video rants.

In a video titled Addressing The Devils, Peirce asks her viewers: “Do you think I didn’t know what my wedding was gonna be like? Like, I didn’t plan my wedding?”

“I don’t like big to-dos. I’m the least to-do person ever.”

She added: “B***h, I could fly to the f**king Maldives with every damn f**king person in my damn family and pay for everyone and not have it impact me at all, you f**king idiots.”

Peirce then stressed that her and Locke wanted to keep the wedding “casual and mellow.”

She said: “I did exactly what I wanted to do for my wedding and I would do it all exactly over again.”

Peirce ended the video by saying: “I’m happy, I’m in a really loving relationship. I basically have everything I want.”

“I have my own business, a beautiful house, I have a husband. I’m really happy right now and you guys are so vicious and mean.”

Then, in her signature fashion, she addressed her haters head-on, explaining: “I get it, because you’re miserable and ugly.”

“And you’re a loser, I understand. Life isn’t fair.”



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