Mahindra AI influencer pulled after jobs complaints 

Occurred: December 2023-January 2024

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Formula E racing team Mahindra was accused of preferring to use an AI-generated 'influencer' to promote itself over a real human being, triggering a backlash and resulting in the team jettisoning its digital creation.

'Ava', a digital approximation of an attractive young woman, was unveiled by Mahindra on Instagram in December 2023 as the company's 'artificial intelligence ambassador' in order to 'fuel inclusion through AI innovation'. However, users quickly took to social media to complain strongly that the initiative was inappropriate. 'Motorsport companies/teams will do anything but hire actual women,' quipped one Instagram user. 

Mahindra pulled Ava from the internet in January 2024. 'Your comments holds tremendous value. We have listened, understood and decided to discontinue the project,' Mahindra Racing CEO Frederic Bertrand acknowledged.


Operator: Mahindra Racing
Developer: Mahindra Racing
Country: Global
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Promote Mahindra Racing
Technology: Deepfake - image; Generative adversarial network (GAN); Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning
Issue: Employment
Transparency: Governance