Will the rise of AI-powered virtual influencers ruin B2B social?

December 14, 2023 0 Comments

Will the rise of AI-powered virtual influencers ruin B2B social?

Picture this: Virtual influencers powered by AI flooding your feed with industry-related content and updates. Sounds absurd? It might become the norm sooner than you think. With the emergence of virtual influencers in the consumer place like Lu from Magalu and the integration of AI capabilities in platforms like LinkedIn, the boundaries between human-generated and AI-generated content are blurring.

Embracing Our Digital Overlords:

Virtual influencers like Lu from Magalu have captured the attention of millions worldwide (32+ Followers!) by showcasing the potential of AI in creating engaging content on behalf of one of Brazil’s leading retailers. These virtual personas, meticulously crafted by human creators and powered by AI, are developing a voice in the digital realm. As AI technology advances, it is conceivable that virtual influencers could expand their reach into professional spaces, becoming trusted sources of industry insights, trends, and thought leadership. Adoption and acceptance may differ by generation too. I can’t see people who have spent a decade plus building their professional networks online take bots seriously, but what about younger generations that enter the workforce now? To them, AI will have always been present and useful.

The Blurred Line between Human and AI Content:

Currently, platforms like LinkedIn are already incorporating AI capabilities to assist content creators in generating posts. The recently introduced “Draft using AI” feature on LinkedIn exemplifies this trend, allowing users to receive AI-generated suggestions for their posts based on simple prompts. While this feature aims to streamline content creation, questions arise regarding the distinction between content created by humans with AI assistance and content generated solely by virtual influencers. It’s like choosing between slightly bland and slightly more bland. Oh, the joys of cutting-edge technology!

The Importance of Originality and Creativity:

As AI becomes more integrated into content creation processes, the challenge lies in ensuring originality and creativity in the content being produced. While AI can currently do A LOT (how many ‘Generative AI for X Industry/Task/Job’ infographics have you seen lately?), the human touch remains crucial in adding unique perspectives, insights, and personal experiences. Consumers of professional content are likely to demand a balance between AI-generated efficiency and the authenticity that human creators bring to the table. The LinkedIn Content Marketing warriors out there are really banging the drum on this point! I have to say I agree though. Again, does that just mean I’m out of touch?

Responsible AI Implementation:

Recently, and potentially linked to the ‘Draft Using AI’ feature, LinkedIn has published this piece on their Responsible AI Principles in Practice. The platform states that by adhering to established principles, such as trust, accountability, and fairness, LinkedIn aims to navigate the evolving landscape of AI-powered content generation ethically. Striking the right balance between AI assistance and human creativity will be essential to maintain user engagement and ensure that content remains relevant, informative, and valuable. And with so much controversy and debate over AI regulation and alignment right now, the platform has their work cut out for them.

A Marvellous Metaverse Connection?

The concept of the metaverse, an immersive virtual reality space, opens up new possibilities for virtual influencers and professionals alike. Imagine a future where professionals not only receive business-related content from virtual influencers but also interact with them in a virtual workspace. (That’s assuming the professional world lets this become a thing). If so, the metaverse could become a collaborative environment where virtual influencers, powered by AI, guide professionals, facilitate networking, and provide tailored career development opportunities. It might not be all that bad, you know?!

The future of professional content on platforms like LinkedIn, Substack and Medium is unknown. While the rise of AI-generated content presents challenges in maintaining originality, responsible AI implementation and the collaboration between AI and human creators can shape a weird and wonderful future where professionals receive valuable insights from virtual influencers.