Technology has taken over the world, especially in the last decade with the advent of the gig economy. Now, more and more companies are becoming tech-friendly and looking for ways to increase efficiency.
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But China is taking this to an extreme with the growing popularity of fictional characters. Some of the biggest Chinese tech companies are jumping on the bandwagon, and many are wondering if this will affect American jobs.
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What is a fictional character?
A virtual person is a computer simulation of a human, also called a virtual character or avatar. It combines animation, sound technology and machine learning to create digitized humans who can interact with people virtually.
These virtual employees can perform a variety of tasks such as customer service, data entry, and content creation. It can also be used for video games, virtual worlds, simulations, and can be programmed to interact with people in a variety of ways, such as social media, digital marketing, and other forms of online communication.
China uses 2D and 3D virtual people to help tech companies grow. Some have even made their mark on the US Internet space, particularly as social media influencers.
How much does it cost to use a virtual person?
One of the reasons these fictional characters have grown so much in popularity over the years is that they cost very little to make. Pricing ranges from $2,800 to $14,300 per year.
Costs continue to come down as the price tag is already down 80% from last year. Some experts believe that due to these low costs, the popularity of fictional characters will continue to grow and the industry could grow by up to 50% annually through 2025.
The city of Beijing even announced plans in August 2022 to continue increasing the use of virtual people for businesses, with the hope that by 2025 the industry value will reach more than 50 billion yen.
Are virtual people only used by tech companies?
Tech companies are the first to embrace a virtual workforce, but their presence in other industries is growing rapidly. China already has plans to bring more virtual workers to work in broadcasting and manufacturing.
They also currently work for various financial services, local tourism boards and state media. Many brands are looking for virtual personalities to represent them and help sell content, especially as cancel culture’s growing presence and many celebrities generating negative press.
If more brands were using virtual people, they wouldn’t be involved in HR or criminal scandals like humans, since everything is programmed.
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Should Americans be concerned about their jobs?
The rapid growth of fictional characters has certainly hit other areas of the world faster than here in the United States. As mentioned earlier, the presence of virtual social media influencers is undoubtedly growing on the internet.
Beyond that, some companies have used virtual reality to regularly train their frontline workers. Some of these companies include JetBlue, Walmart and MGM Resorts. Many of them find it helpful when their companies deal with serving the public to some extent.
When it comes to virtual humans replacing real humans, America is not yet at that point. With the advent of ChatGPT, which uses artificial intelligence to mimic human thinking, virtual workers could ultimately put Americans out of work as some companies choose to automate certain tasks or outsource them to virtual workers.
Proponents argue that the growth of virtual workers may lead to the creation of new human jobs related to the development and management of virtual workers.
While using a virtual employee can bring cost savings and efficiency gains to a company, it’s important to consider the potential negative impacts. In addition to obvious human job losses that can be devastating, virtual workers can bring new privacy, misinformation, and liability issues.
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Overall, the impact of virtual employees on the job market can be complex and multifaceted. It is difficult to make definitive predictions about how that will affect American workers. One thing is certain. As you see how the Virtual Employee unfolds and how it will affect you and your family, know that I will keep you updated on the latest developments on this very important topic.
What do you think of fictional characters? Are you interested? Please tell us. We’d love to hear from you.
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