I don’t think shame is always a bad thing.
It’s not neutral, sure, but it does keep me from taking Purse Pockets (that’s when you put a Hot Pocket in your purse) into the theater when I feel like supporting the live arts.
And it looks like shame may be knocking back Levi Strauss’ plans on implementing AI models in place of real, paid humans.
An understandable uproar about the idea of replacing live models with a random conglomerate of images ensued, and the jeans company walked its enthusiasm back…sort of.
“We do not see this pilot as a means to advance diversity or as a substitute for the real action that must be taken to deliver on our diversity, equity and inclusion goals…
…we want to clarify that this pilot is something we are on track to experiment with later this year in the hopes of strengthening the consumer experience.
Lalaland.ai’s technology, and AI more broadly, can potentially assist us by allowing us to publish more images of our products on a range of body types more quickly.
That being said, we are not scaling back our plans for live photo shoots, the use of live models, or our commitment to working with diverse models.”
That bold there is mine, for what I hope are obvious reasons. ‘We want to do MORE. FASTER’, companies say, ‘We just don’t want to PAY people for that’ is what they won’t say to all the rubes that genuinely buy that “strengthening the consumer experience” has anything to do with their own benefit.
I’ve always been irritable about people who say ‘Well if AI can take your job, you weren’t that good at it’. No, fools. AI generated content does not need to be as good, or even better than human work to supplant us. It just needs to be passable and cheap. It’s the same reason my wardrobe is 95% polyester. Like hell my plastic clothes can stand up to real linen and wool as far as breathability or warmth. But that’s not the arena they were competing in.
In the original statement, Levi Strauss leans HARD on the idea of inclusion to get people hyped up.
“[The Software will create] hyper-realistic models of every body type, age, size and skin tone. With these body-inclusive avatars, the company aims to create a more inclusive, personal and sustainable shopping experience for fashion brands, retailers and customers.”
‘There you go, you peasants like it when we show fatties, and oldsters, and political skin colors, right?’
As usual, from me, AI sucks, and billion dollar companies have no excuse not to pay human beings thriving wages to do things for them, including models. But the lines about strengthening the consumer experience makes me wonder…are they going to be using cookies to show you models based on your own preferences?
As in, when they scrawl through all the data on you that they’re sold by others, will AI models be generated on demand to lean on customers enjoying seeing themselves reflected in ads/product photos?
It definitely doesn’t strengthen my experience as a human being to have older women, or thinner women, or even whiter women completely shuttered from my view. But as a consumer…well that’s a different story.
The results of this shift, and whether or not ‘We have no plans to XYZ’ turns into ‘We said we weren’t planning on it….and we WEREN’T. Then. But now that the heat is off, we’re totally doing it’ remain to be seen, but I’ve got a pretty good…Guess™ that Levi Strauss will leave us stressed.
I’ll seam myself out.