Levi’s replaces humans with AI-generated models for ‘diversity’

Long-standing fashion brand Levi’s is leaving humans behind in favour of AI-generated models. The iconic jeans and jackets brand is aiming to replace all of its human models for the sake of a “digital transformation journey”.

Partnering with Amsterdam-based Lalaland.ai, Levi’s claims the new initiative will help it increase its diversity. Instead of hiring human models from diverse groups, they’ll create their own with artificial intelligence. Lalaland’s AI models have been a controversial topic, alongside other AI fashion services.

Lalaland.Ai claims its technology helps to create “an inclusive, sustainable and diverse design chain” by creating hyper-realistic models of “every body type, age, size and skin tone”.

Levi’s announcement for its AI models claims it’s using the technology for the exact same purpose. The fashion company claims that the service will help it to increase its diversity and sustainability into the future.

“We see fashion and technology as both an art and a science,” the fashion brand said. “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.”

An AI generated model by lalaland.ai,  young black girl wearing dungarees
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An example of one of Lalaland.AI’s AI generated models

Levi’s claims that it will still use some human models in the future. However, its partnership with Lalaland.ai claims that human models are a “likely” part of its business, but that’s set in stone.

The issues with Levi’s’ move to AI models is twofold. Firstly, the company’s use of AI is literally replacing jobs in an already competitive industry. Secondly, its claims of diversity are disgusting the company’s unwillingness to actually pay diverse models for their work. Creating diverse-looking CG humans is not actual diversity. At its worse, it’s commodifying diverse people; at its worst, it’s exploitation.

Instead of generating diverse models to fit advertising campaigns, Levi’s should do what every company should do: hire diverse people. Diverse people exist, they can model, you just need to seek them out, not generate them.

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