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Moroccan Digital Influencer Wins the World’s First Miss AI Beauty Pageant


If you thought Artificial Intelligence (AI) couldn’t get any more dystopian, we hate to break it to you, but we’re still far from reaching the peak of its potential (or should we say idiocy). After AI-generated songs capable of mimicking your favorite singer’s voice, AI-produced art, and AI-written novels, humankind has seemingly found nothing better to do with such advanced technology than to create AI-generated models and make them compete in a dedicated beauty pageant.

This week, it was revealed that the world’s first Miss AI contest took place and crowned Moroccan digital avatar Kenza Layli as the most beautiful contender. In its debut edition, the pageantry, which was commissioned by Fanvue World AI Creator Awards, invited heavyweights from the industry to flaunt their skills by creating model-like avatars.

With over 1500 entries, each cyber siren—more accurately, their creators—had the chance to walk away with a $20,000 cash prize, which was claimed by Moroccan tech expert Myriem Bessa– founder of Phoenix AI agency–who conceived the virtual hijab-wearing influencer. For that, Layli had to excel in a few  categories— including beauty, technology, and social media presence–in front of a jury made up of human and android pageant specialists.

“The global interest in this first award from [WAICAs] has been incredible,” Fanvue co-founder Will Monange told The New York Post. “The awards are a fantastic mechanism to celebrate creator achievements, raise standards, and shape a positive future for the AI Creator economy, ” he added.

With nearly 200,000 people following her on her official Instagram account, the virtual influencer beat out French contestant Lalina Valina, and Portugal’s Olivia C, who came in second and third respectively, in the digital beauty race.

While this news could be considered a historic milestone for our region, the idea of an AI beauty pageant just doesn’t feel right. IRL beauty competitions are already problematic enough, but this latest iteration raises a number of questions: Who was this model based on? How many images were analyzed to create her? Were the individuals in those images aware of their involvement and did they give consent? How were AI models trained to judge, and were there any biases? Isn’t it strange to have non-existent beings take part in these sorts of competitions? What about the veil? Is this the way and manner we want our religious values to be represented, or is just a digital fashion statement? What does this say about our perception of identity? So many questions that are difficult to answer, leaving us only to wonder where our society is heading.

While many out there are still struggling to wrap their heads around how it works, others seem to be veering off course. Rather than put such advanced technology to better use, for instance to make education, healthcare, and other essential services more accessible and effective, it appears that we’re caught up in pursuits that prioritize (once again) superficial achievements. As many tend to say that fashion is cyclical, clearly, so is humankind’s foolishness.

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