Levi's To Use AI-Generated Models To Promote 'Diversity And Sustainability'
Levi's is undergoing a word salad of what they characterized as a "digital transformation journey" of diversity, equity, inclusion and sustainability, by partnering with an AI company to use computer-generated fashion models which they will use to "supplement human models," Engadget reports.
Engadget's Will Shanklin also nails what's going on - writing: "Although that sounds noble on the surface, Levi’s is essentially hiring a robot to generate the appearance of diversity while ridding itself of the burden of paying human beings who represent the qualities it wants to be associated with its brand."
Levi Strauss is partnering with Amsterdam-based digital model studio Lalaland.ai for the initiative. Founded in 2019, the company’s mission is “to see more representation in the fashion industry” and “create an inclusive, sustainable, and diverse design chain.” It aims to let customers see what various fashion items would look like on a person who looks like them via “hyper-realistic” models “of every body type, age, size and skin tone.”
The branding is just as woke, with the clothing designer claiming that the partnership is about "increasing the number and diversity of our models for our products in a sustainable way," adding "We see fashion and technology as both an art and a science, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with Lalaland.ai, a company with such high-quality technology that can help us continue on our journey for a more diverse and inclusive customer experience."
According to the company, "AI will likely never fully replace human models for us."
As Shanklin opines in closing;
I can’t help but see this as the first step in a dystopian slow walk toward automating the industry. As AI-generated “photography,” art and writing grow ever more convincing, we would be naive to take corporations at face value when they insist moves like this are about PR-friendly principles like celebrating diversity and looking out for the environment. At the very least, it’s awfully convenient that those high-minded motives also let them mass-produce something that previously required hiring people.
Meanwhile, Levi Strauss is reportedly cutting nearly 20% of its workforce in a process which began last year as part of a restructuring plan to save $75 to $100 million per year.