Levi’s will ‘supplement human models’ with AI-generated fakes

Levi’s is partnering with an AI firm on computer-generated vogue fashions to “complement human fashions.” The corporate frames the transfer as a part of a “digital transformation journey” of variety, fairness, inclusion and sustainability. Though that sounds noble on the floor, Levi’s is basically hiring a robotic to generate the look of variety whereas ridding itself of the burden of paying human beings who signify the qualities it desires to be related to its model.

Levi Strauss is partnering with Amsterdam-based digital mannequin studio for the initiative. Based in 2019, the corporate’s mission is “to see extra illustration within the vogue business” and “create an inclusive, sustainable, and various design chain.” It goals to let prospects see what varied vogue gadgets would seem like on an individual who seems to be like them through “hyper-realistic” fashions “of each physique sort, age, dimension and pores and skin tone.”

Levi’s announcement echoes that branding, saying the partnership is about “rising the quantity and variety of our fashions for our merchandise in a sustainable approach.” The corporate continues, “We see vogue and know-how as each an artwork and a science, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with, an organization with such high-quality know-how that may assist us proceed on our journey for a extra various and inclusive buyer expertise.”

A screenshot from the website, showing an AI-generated fashion model wearing customized clothing.

Levi’s claims, “AI will possible by no means absolutely change human fashions for us” (word the qualifying “possible”). However I can’t assist however see this as step one in a dystopian sluggish stroll towards automating the business. As AI-generated “pictures,” artwork and writing develop ever extra convincing, we’d be naive to take firms at face worth once they insist strikes like this are about PR-friendly ideas like celebrating variety and looking for the setting. On the very least, it’s awfully handy that these high-minded motives additionally allow them to mass-produce one thing that beforehand required hiring folks.

Levi Strauss reportedly started a 12-to-19-month technique of chopping round 800 jobs — nearly 20 p.c of its company workforce — final yr. It was a part of a restructuring plan to avoid wasting about $75 million to $100 million yearly.

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