Crafton’s latest ‘AI’ woman recycles usual sexual orbits

A virtual woman with purple hair and hazel eyes staring straight into the camera with a sad expression on her face.

picture: Crafton

When I first saw Anna, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Publisher Krafton’s attempt to put a face on his “virtual human” synthetic technology, I was disappointed to see that this supposed Web 3.0 innovation was in fact just another beautiful, pale girl. It’s been sprayed with air, but it’s still tangible. She bites her tongue and looks at you. I’m afraid they exist only to be seen, not other things.

Crafton She released her first picture of Anna On June 15. We got two close-ups of a mysterious East Asian woman With all the expected egirl suppliesDyed hair and adventurous ear piercings. Ana, created with Unreal Engine, has a file lightning bShe got a tattoo on her finger. It’s clearly visible when she puts her pinky on her lips to stare at you with clear and amorous intention.

Crafton unveiled its “virtual human” technology in February with technical offer Showcasing “live motion capture-based, motion-capturing pupil movements enabled by faking technique, colorful facial expressions, even soft hair and baby hair on the skin.” The publisher has announced its intention to use carefully designed virtual humans not only in its games but in esports shows, and in the hopes of creating more virtual influencers and singers like “Android” Instagrammer Mikaela.

These are influencers and singers, in the plural, so I’m probably just the beginning of what I can only imagine being a circus band. pubg Android kids. Baby robots are especially trendy right now, because we haven’t grown at all since watching the film to her In 2013. Before that, we were used to the idea of ​​robots being emotionalless women. In other words, the “perfect” woman.

In 2011, female-encoded virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa began living in our devices and underscored the popular image of a loving and supportive e-woman recently informed by future-focused Y2K media — think Cortana. in Hello In 2001, or the virtual pop star in the 2004 Disney movie pixel perfect. In 2016, a man in Hong Kong spent $50,000 building a robot She looks like Scarlett Johanssonwho encounters the voice of the virtual assistant in the movie to her. We didn’t really learn anything from this movie.

Nor have we learned much from real AI experts, who, over the years, have asserted that female crypto-bots alienate female tech users. and rewarding harmful stereotypes about women To be servile and devoted through whatever abuse they are subjected to. In 2019, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Post published Arguing that Siri’s female subservience—and the subservience expressed by many other digital assistants expected to be young women—provides a powerful illustration of the gender biases coding in tech products, pervasive in the tech sector and evident in digital skills education. But tech companies like Krafton continue to create these gender biases, sewing them more tightly and deeper into our societal fabric.

In part, this is because The games are conflicting but addictive Relationship with sex, the evil eye of rudeness, always looks at the male gaze. Major developers have, at times, attempted to bypass the style of the typical video game woman to adopt more realistic visuals (to Reddit’s big disappointment), but the female character designs in video games in general remain recurring: plump and fluid. I love hugs indoor bimbo Like everyone else, but when women in stiletto heels and padded waists are the only representation we have in video games, it reduces the entire gender to an oppressive stereotype.

But even more so than for cute women, tech and video game companies are craving for the non-defining terms “web 3.0” and “metaverse.” Both aim to invoke the idea of ​​an empowered individual on the Internet, but in practice, they are usually just ways to rehabilitate and commercialize ancient virtues (prioritization). Work productivityAnd the Sole Proprietorship) for a new audience. Possibly to cover up the rapidly collapsing blockchain ‘innovations’ Like pay-to-win video gamesWeb3’s new proponents cling to comforting images of technological advances, which include those ethereal digital women who might be able to shoot human kombat, but will never bother you about your stupid investment in NFT. Criticism is not in their source code.

Crafton invoked all the right buzzwords for her Ana news, writing in a press release that “ANA is designed to engage a global audience and help create KRAFTON’s Web 3.0 platform” that will “catch the interest and popularity of Generation Z” through music and the foray of influencers.

The company declined to answer any of my questions (“Do you think Anna’s design will isolate female players?” Does Crafton do anything to prevent Anna from relying on stereotypes?”), explaining in an email to me that “There will be more ads.” / Details in the coming weeks!”

Ideally, in the coming weeks, we’ll be lucky enough to get another close-up of Ana giving the camera meaningful bedroom eyes, save for a little more brow. Speaking on behalf of my generation, we can’t get enough of a pore-free brow.

Sorry, I don’t mean to be entirely pessimistic about Crafton’s intentions. It is possible that Anna, down her neck, contains some messages that suggest that she is not another iteration of male developers who are invading technology by shaping it into their favorite future – a skinny, pale and obedient woman. By the way, who also wants to sing “advanced vocal synthesis” and become a phenomenon on social media, which will forgive you for your mistake that being the only two career paths available to a beautiful woman.

Well, maybe I mean to be pessimistic. It’s forever frustrating to be a woman passionate about video games and the internet only to routinely taper off her potential for the same boring metaphors that a straight man relies on to get off. Artificial intelligence made women embody the same Victorian traits Found in a chained angel in the house It’s not “Web 3.0”, it’s a swamp standard, traditionally gender-biased. AI-powered audio can be represented by any visual, bubble or creature, but the best Crafton can come up with is a woman I’ve seen in ads and Tumblr inspiration since I was able to go online.

But I have to put up with it, right? This is how we live, vomiting the same pictures and rewriting the same opinions that no one listens to, and yet there is still time to disagree with them. I just don’t want Crafton to act like this in the future. Sometimes I feel like we’re stuck in history for as long as we’ve been recording it.