Chinese Starheir’s Mr. Meta has brought AI and Qatar’s heritage together in a striking display. Here’s how.
China’s Starheir Technology showcased its AI-generated character, Mr. Meta, at several renowned locations in Qatar in a recent interview with Al Jazeera, reflecting a rising trend in China’s digital sphere.
Mr. Meta, one of the virtual personalities developed by the company, was spotted posing at various Qatari landmarks, including the opulent Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
The AI-powered character was captured saying, “Huanying Laidao Qatar”, which translates to “Welcome to Qatar” in Mandarin. The digital sensation also appeared at the Museum of Islamic Art and Katara’s Open Theatre.
The dynamic representation did not stop there. Embracing Qatari culture, Mr. Meta was also displayed in the traditional Qatari thobe and ghitra, leading a camel by its harness.
Starheir’s CEO, Todd Jiang, told Al Jazeera that each AI generated personality possesses a unique name and backstory.
“One is into popular music, there’s a girl next door type, a more aloof fashion blogger, and another who’s into new technology,” said Jiang.
The interview also shed light on an emerging trend in China – the inclination towards replacing human influencers with AI-generated characters for advertising campaigns.
This shift is attributed to the ability of digital characters to mitigate potential risks like celebrity scandals, thereby preserving and controlling brand image.
Since June 2021, Starheir’s advent into the realm of virtual personalities has been nothing short of impressive.
The company launched five characters: Reddi, Vila, Vince, Nami, and Mr. Meta. Collectively, they have garnered over a million fans and generated hundreds of millions of views on prominent Chinese social media channels such as Weibo.
Seizing their soaring popularity, the virtual influencers have collaborated with high-profile brands, including but LVMH’s DFS duty-free shop, French cosmetics giant Clarins, Italian luxury powerhouses Max Mara and Gucci, sportswear brand Air Jordan, and China’s very own Li Ning.