Aitana López seems to have come out of nowhere and taken the modeling industry by storm.

The pink-haired, toned 25-year-old from Barcelona has reportedly secured advertising deals worth more than $1,000 per Instagram post, and has more than 100,000 online followers. 

Her Instagram feed shows her posing in outfits from Guess, Brandy Melville, and Victoria’s Secret, and tagging haircare brand Olaplex to give them apparent credit for her vibrant locks.

There’s just one problem: Her hair’s not real. In fact, Aitana López was created using artificial intelligence.

This post on Aitana López's Instagram page has more than 10,000 likes. The caption, translated from Spanish, reads, 'No matter the occasion, the 'little black dress' never fails! This photo is not from today, but I wanted to share it with you. What do you think?' Multiple companies are tagged in the post

This post on Aitana López's Instagram page has more than 10,000 likes. The caption, translated from Spanish, reads, 'No matter the occasion, the 'little black dress' never fails! This photo is not from today, but I wanted to share it with you. What do you think?' Multiple companies are tagged in the post

This post on Aitana López’s Instagram page has more than 10,000 likes. The caption, translated from Spanish, reads, ‘No matter the occasion, the ‘little black dress’ never fails! This photo is not from today, but I wanted to share it with you. What do you think?’ Multiple companies are tagged in the post

She’s the creation of The Clueless, a ‘modeling agency’ that doesn’t seem to employ any actual human models.

According to Clueless founder Rubén Cruz, the agency created Aitana as a way to overcome the obstacle of human talent.

‘We started analysing how we were working and realised that many projects were being put on hold or cancelled due to problems beyond our control. 

‘Often it was the fault of the influencer or model and not due to design issues,’ Cruz told Euronews.

So Cruz and his team created Aitana, an AI-based model who doesn’t eat or sleep, who doesn’t require healthcare, and who has no pension fund.

Companies know they’re paying for a virtual influencer when they book Aitana.

In fact, Cruz and Clueless said that’s part of the appeal, as brands can save time and money by hiring her over a real human model.

Rather than a photoshoot, all she requires is a couple people at a computer fiddling with a generative AI program and Photoshop. 

This post on Aitana's Instagram account @fit_aitana racked up more than 16,000 likes in three days. Clothing brand Victoria's Secret and haircare brand Olaplex are tagged in the photo

This post on Aitana's Instagram account @fit_aitana racked up more than 16,000 likes in three days. Clothing brand Victoria's Secret and haircare brand Olaplex are tagged in the photo

This post on Aitana’s Instagram account @fit_aitana racked up more than 16,000 likes in three days. Clothing brand Victoria’s Secret and haircare brand Olaplex are tagged in the photo

‘We did it so that we could make a better living and not be dependent on other people who have egos, who have manias, or who just want to make a lot of money by posing,’ said Cruz.

Add ‘posing’ to the list of industries where business owners don’t want regular people to make money – a list that already included such diverse jobs as warehouse workers and rocket manufacturers.

Service industry jobs are already under threat from AI, as some experts have predicted that millions of fast food workers could be ousted from their roles by 2028. 

Up to 80 percent of relatively cushier desk jobs like accountants and public relations specialists are at risk, too, according to an estimate from earlier this year.

But it’s not just blue collar jobs and knowledge economy jobs that are threatened by automation, now.

Aitana is just one more instance in a growing trend of AI models and influencers, which have been called a ‘terrifying glimpse into the future,’ a future in which creative and human-centered jobs will be given over to AI while humans are left to do harder labor.

And that’s not just an imagined future.

Big clothing brands like Levi’s announced plans earlier this year to ‘supplement‘ their casts of human fashion models with AI ones.

Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein have joined the virtual employer ranks, too.

Clothing brand Brandy Melville is tagged in this post on Aitana's Instagram. So is Olaplex, even though she doesn't have hair

Clothing brand Brandy Melville is tagged in this post on Aitana's Instagram. So is Olaplex, even though she doesn't have hair

Clothing brand Brandy Melville is tagged in this post on Aitana’s Instagram. So is Olaplex, even though she doesn’t have hair

Levi’s received fierce backlash when the company stated that it would use AI-generated models to increase their diversity ‘in terms of size and body type, age and skin color.’

This left observers to ask why the company wouldn’t instead just hire real models of different ethnicities and pay them fairly.

‘Very efficient, Levi’s! Laziness, cheapness, and cynicism all in one stroke,’ said film director Peter Ramsey earlier this year when Levi’s made the announcement. 

It’s too early to say whether AI models are taking jobs away from real people, but based on the growing ranks of companies entering the field,  they only seem to be getting more numerous – and more affordable.

A lingerie brand and haircare brand are tagged in this post on Aitana's Instagram page. Brands pay about $1,000 per post for the AI model's endorsement

A lingerie brand and haircare brand are tagged in this post on Aitana's Instagram page. Brands pay about $1,000 per post for the AI model's endorsement

A lingerie brand and haircare brand are tagged in this post on Aitana’s Instagram page. Brands pay about $1,000 per post for the AI model’s endorsement

Compared with virtual influencers who can easily charge tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars per post, even some of the biggest names with millions of followers are a bargain.

Lil Miquela, for instance, was one of the first virtual influencers, and she remains extremely popular with 2.7 million followers on Instagram.

But whereas a real person with that kind of following can command a quarter million dollars for an ad campaign, a post from Lil Miquela reportedly costs around $10,000.

They haven’t been universally adopted, though.

AI models have been criticized for sapping humanity from the fashion industry. 

Clueless noted this fact and aimed to make something more than just another pretty face with Aitana López, Cruz claimed.

They needed to make her an internet personality. An influencer. 

‘In the first month, we realised that people follow lives, not images. Since she is not alive, we had to give her a bit of reality so that people could relate to her in some way. We had to tell a story,’ Cruz said.

To this end, they’ve made Aitana a bit of a gamer and a bit of a fitness junkie, on top of her generic good looks.

As AI seems to be infiltrating every industry, it remains to be seen whether lawmakers will include AI-generated models in future regulations. 

This post first appeared on Dailymail.co.uk

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