Aespa virtual K-pop anthropomorphism, sexualisation

Occurred: June 2021

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Korean entertainment company SM Entertainment has announced that Aespa, its latest K-pop girl group will include human and virtual members that can 'interact and communicate as independent beings as they have AI brains'. 

The announcement was met with a mixture of intigue and excitement, tempered by concerns about the 'ownership' of young girls by fans and the potential for dehumanisation and sexualisation. 

Others raised the possibility of Aespa avatars being manipulated for pornography and other unethical uses. 

Operator: SM Entertainment
Developer: SM Entertainment
Country: S Korea  
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Create virtual avatars
Technology: Deepfake - image, video
Issue: Anthropomorphism; Dual/multi-use; Safety