Technology has been taking over the world, especially within the last decade with the advent of the gig economy. Now, more and more companies are figuring out how to make themselves more efficient by becoming more tech friendly.
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However, China is taking this to the next extreme with the growing popularity of virtual people. Some of the largest Chinese tech companies are hopping on this bandwagon, and many are wondering if this will affect American jobs.
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What are virtual people?
Virtual people are simulations of human beings on computers, also known as virtual characters or avatars. They combine animation, sound tech, and machine learning that create digitized human beings who can interact with people virtually.
These virtual employees can perform various tasks, such as customer service, data entry, and content creation. They can also be used in video games, virtual worlds, simulations, and be programmed to interact with people in various ways, such as on social media, digital marketing, and other forms of online communication.
China uses 2D and 3D virtual people to help grow their tech companies. Some have even appeared in American internet spaces, especially as social media influencers.
How much do virtual people cost to use?
Part of the reason why these virtual people have grown so much in popularity over the years is that they cost so little to make. The price range spans from as little as $2,800 to as much as $14,300 to use per year.
Costs are continuing to go down, as the price tag has already dropped 80% since last year. Some experts believe that due to these low costs, virtual people will continue to grow in popularity and that the industry could potentially grow up to 50% annually through 2025.
Beijing city even announced a plan back in August of 2022 to continue growing their use of virtual people for companies with the hope to have the industry valued at over 50 billion yen by 2025.
Are virtual people only being used in tech companies?
Tech companies are first to embrace virtual people, yet their presence among other industries is growing fast. China already has a plan to get more virtual people to work in broadcasting and manufacturing.
They also have them currently working in various financial services, local tourism boards, and state media. Many brands are especially looking for virtual people to represent them and help sell their content with the growing presence of cancel culture and many celebrities generating negative press over the years.
If more brands use virtual people, they won’t have to worry about getting involved in personnel or criminal scandals like a human being could since everything about them is programmed.
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Should Americans be worried about their jobs?
The rapid growth of virtual people has certainly hit other areas of the world quicker than here in the U.S. As I mentioned, the presence of virtual social media influencers is undoubtedly growing on the internet.
Other than that, some companies have just used virtual reality to help regularly train their frontline employees. Some of these companies include JetBlue, Walmart, and MGM Resorts. Many of them have found it helpful as their companies deal with serving the public in some capacity.
Regarding virtual people taking over for actual humans, America is not quite at that point just yet. With the advent of ChatGPT that uses artificial intelligence to mimic human thinking, virtual employees could ultimately result in job losses for Americans as some businesses choose to automate specific tasks or outsource them to virtual workers.
Proponents argue that it is also possible the growth of virtual employees could lead to the creation of new human jobs, such as those related to the development and management of virtual workers.
While the use of virtual employees can bring cost savings and increased efficiency to companies, it’s important to consider the potential negative impacts. Aside from the obvious human job loss which could be colossal, virtual workers could bring about new privacy, misinformation, and accountability concerns.
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Overall, the effect of virtual employees on the job market is likely to be complex and multifaceted. It’s tough to make definitive predictions about how it will affect American workers. One thing is for sure, you know I will stay on this very important topic and bring you the latest developments as I see how virtual employees unfold and how it will affect you and your family.
What do you think about virtual people? Does it concern you? Let us know. We’d like to hear from you.
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