A growing trend in the realm of artificial intelligence-powered social media influencers is causing alarm among experts, who warn about the potentially damaging effects on children’s mental health. These AI influencers are computer-generated personalities who endorse products and brands, just like their human counterparts. However, the concern lies in the way these AI influencers are portrayed as flawless individuals leading idyllic lives, which could negatively impact the self-perception and emotional well-being of younger users.
Alexa Eden, the founder of EDEN, an AI training consulting firm, voiced her worries about the long-term consequences of exposing young users to AI influencers who project unrealistic standards of beauty and lifestyle. She emphasized that these AI-generated influencers are meticulously designed with a deep understanding of human psychology, aiming to embody perfection from a marketing, psychological, and emotional standpoint.
The rise of Milla Sofia, an AI-generated influencer gaining popularity on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, has shed light on this growing trend. Despite being computer-generated, Milla Sofia’s posts garner admiration and attention from users, with some individuals expressing romantic interest and praising her beauty.
Eden expressed concerns about the potential long-term impact on self-perception, particularly among young girls who are growing up in a digital world where AI influencers establish unattainable beauty standards. Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok have previously been linked to mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and even suicidal tendencies among teenagers.
Tech giants, including Meta (formerly Facebook), have acknowledged the negative effects of social media on mental health. Meta revealed that Instagram can be detrimental to the self-esteem of teenage girls, with a considerable percentage of them reporting feeling worse about their bodies due to the influence of the platform.
Given the psychological manipulation involved in presenting AI influencers as perfect beings, experts like Eden question whether this trend offers any long-term benefits. While it may boost business and captivate viewers in the short term, there are concerns about the potential harm that AI-generated perfection could inflict on young minds.