September 2018 | Wolters Kluwer's The Licensing Journal

The Rise of CGI Influencers

1 min

Annie Lee co-authored "The Rise of CGI Influencers" in the September 2018 issue of Wolters Kluwer's The Licensing Journal. Here is an excerpt:

What if the influencer you had been following on Instagram—an influencer whose style choices you admired, and who supported social causes that you believed in—turned out to be…a robot?

This is what happened to followers of Lil Miquela, a 19-year old model from California who launched an Instagram account in 2016. For the past two years, she's been posting photos of herself in designer clothing, eating at trendy restaurants, and pitching beauty products. Along the way, she managed to amass over a million followers. Then, in mid- April, after getting hacked by a fellow influencer named Bermuda who refused to return her account unless she "[told] the world the truth"—Miquela revealed that she wasn't human. She is a CGI, or a computer-generated image. And so is Bermuda.