Lil Miquela is a 19-year-old, Brazilian-American model, musical artist, and influencer with 3 million Instagram followers. The clincher is that she’s not a real person. She’s an AI personality who has earned major money for her Los Angeles-based designers. But, behind the CGI glitz and glamor, there’s an undertone of eeriness to what Lil Miquela’s popularity represents.
In this episode of The Wide Angle, retired Air Force Brigadier General Dr. Robert Spalding talks about the deeper implications of an appealing, engineered persona, like Lil Miquela, having broad influence over people’s ideas, beliefs, and behaviors. After all, it doesn’t take much to imagine how this could play out in political-propaganda terms.
In the context of the trucker convoy and COVID-19 restrictions, we explore how tech is propelling the decimation of people’s privacy and basic freedoms; and conversely, we probe technology’s potential role in preserving these basic tenets of democracy.
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