Aespa virtual K-pop

June 2021
Updated: January 2022

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
Purpose: Create virtual avatars
Technology: Deepfake - image, video
Issue: Anthropomorphism; Dual/multi-use