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BAFTA awards introduces CGI model as first ever 5G AI-powered red carpet stylist

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is introducing the world’s first 5G-powered AI stylist at this weekend’s 72nd British Academy Film Awards, in the shape of a hologram of a CGI model. The model will act as a bridge to allow consumers to shop for red carpet looks at home.

Powered by telecoms company EE technology, Shudu, the CGI model, will be brought to life on the red carpet in the shape of a hologram and allow guests at home to shop for evening looks similar to those of the celebrities attending through Instagram Stories.

The experience will work when red carpet guests stand next to the hologram and have their photographs taken by a Google Pixel 3 phone. This is then posted on EE’s Instagram Stories, where users will be able to ‘swipe up’ to begin a conversation with Shudu, the chatbot.

Users can then discuss their personal styles with Shudu, while AI be deployed to find similar, more affordable looks to recommend to users and enable them to “Shop the Look”.

On the red carpet, Shudu will be joined by host and TV presenter Laura Whitmore. “I love the fact that she will give everyone the opportunity to learn more about and even shop the looks of the stars on this year’s BAFTA red carpet right from the comfort of their sofas,” she says. “I know everyone is going to be blown away by her. I’m looking forward to seeing all the glamour and chatting to all the nominees.”

Last year, TheCurrent Global’s Liz Bacelar and Rachel Arthur debated the what the potential that CGI-generated models, such as Shudu, may have for luxury brands on an episode of the Innovators podcast.

How are you thinking about digital innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. The Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more. 

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TheCurrent Debate: Is there real value in CGI models?

Balmain CGI Models
Balmain CGI Models

CGI models are having a moment in luxury fashion right now, but it’s up for debate as to whether they hold true value for the brands embracing them, according to the latest episode of the Innovators podcast by TheCurrent.

Co-hosts Liz Bacelar and Rachel Arthur, who discuss various technologies pertinent to the industry every month on this show, bring opposing viewpoints to the table.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS

CGI or virtual models have been used in fashion advertising campaigns to an increasing degree over the past few years, with big name brands including Louis VuittonPrada and Balmain all employing them. Some of those involved, including one called Lil Miquela, and another named Shudu, have generated enormous buzz and impressively large social media followings as a result, as though they were indeed influencers in their own right.

Lil Miquela for UGG
Lil Miquela for UGG

Most recently, Lil Miquela featured in UGG’s 40th anniversary campaign, blending in seamlessly alongside two real-life influencers as though she were a natural part of the cast. For the unsuspecting onlooker, it’s not immediately clear she’s not.

One of the questions raised during the episode is whether such a move is merely about gaining from some of the hype such models currently present, or if they can in fact drive ROI for the brands making use of them long term. Rachel presents some interesting statistics that show how engagement of for CGI remains significantly lower than any example of a ‘human’ influencer, but Liz counters that view with the argument that what we’re looking at here is a form of artistic expression.

The duo also dive into what such flawless representations of women mean for beauty ideals in the era of fake news we currently live in, as well as the notion that we may all have a CGI or avatar version of ourselves in the future, not least the real life influencers who could ultimately gain increased revenue opportunities for themselves, even posthumously.

Catch up with all of our episodes of the Innovators podcast by TheCurrent here. The series is a weekly conversation with visionaries, executives and entrepreneurs. It’s backed by TheCurrent, a consultancy transforming how consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.