Will an AI account on Instagram have more than 1M followers by the end of 2023?
53
683
905
resolved Jan 11
Resolved
NO

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2023/02/viral-instagram-photographer-has-a-confession-his-photos-are-ai-generated/

The above story is about an Instagram account that has 12k followers, and uses AI to generate image.

  • Human touch-ups are OK.

  • The content must be primarily AI generated (only 2 of this artists photos are real). Either the account holder must state that the content is AI generated, or it must be generally held to believed to be true of the followers, before the market elapses.

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predicted NO

Resolution was decided by mod vote, six votes to none in favour of NO (excluding me and @Jacy).

Vote was held on discord here:

https://discord.com/channels/915138780216823849/1158528733444055071/1193518908297187469

Resolving NO.

With the Lil Miquel account:

TIME magazine states that Cain Intelligence were the original developer. It looks like Bermuda is a variant that is explicitly claimed to be "a breakthrough in AI", and they staged a "takeover" of the account by the character:

https://web.archive.org/web/20180418002605/http://cainintelligence.com/

BERMUDA

At Cain we've always strived to be leaders in a world overrun with followers. We're passionate about creating a consumer facing example of our Artificial Intelligence learnings. We are proud to present Bermuda!

Bermuda is the first of her kind. Built to speak her truth and to the interests of today's youth, she is uniquely unapologetic, representing not only a breakthrough in artificial intelligence but also in modern political thought.

A lot of people saying it's GAN-based. Bermuda is described as "robot" just like Lil Miquel, and her Instagram says "check out my sis".

So IMO it seems like the original developer considers her "AI". Human touchups are okay, so that all these examples are cherry-picked and have custom effort shouldn't take away from it seeming to be GAN-generated.

@Mira Company might be fake though. "May or may not exist". i.e. part of the roleplay. But even the fake company is the developer claiming to be AI.

@Mira Someone should check the GAN claim too. This site makes the claim most clearly, but if they create fake companies, maybe they're good at spreading fake articles too. The actual character looks 3D and not GAN, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was CGI on GAN backgrounds

predicted NO

@Mira

Miquela's creators use a core programming with machine learning to give her context and help her evolve. They rely on Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) and other models to generate realistic data for her visual content and social media interactions.

This reads to me like they might optimise the decisions about what content to produce by machine learning based social media data, rather than the images themselves using AI.

generate realistic data for her visual content

Is the closest it comes to saying the images are AI generated, but it's not directly saying it. And yeah, the whole thing could be a fake story.

The other account you mentioned only has 250k followers so wouldn't count for this market, and also last posted in Sep 2020, when image generation AIs were garbage (DALL-E hadn't even come out yet, I don't even know what SOTA art was then, but presumably worse than DALL-E). It looks like CGI photoshopped into photos. If you go back a bit you can see the CGI gets worse and is very obvious.

predicted NO

@Mira Also, lil Miquela has existed since 2016, so even if they had switched to using generative AI at some point, it wouldn't comprise a majority of the images on the account anyway.

predicted NO

Creator is inactive (the recent activity in their account is not real activity, it's limit order fills), but I have a large stake so it would be better for someone else to resolve.

Nobody has put forward an AI instagram account with >1M followers, to my understanding.

But there have been some bets made on the basis that Lil Miquela might count. From Wikipedia:

Miquela Sousa, also called Lil Miquela, or known mononymously by the stage name Miquela, is a fictional American character, singer and social media personality who was created by Trevor McFedries and Sara DeCou.[1] The character was created with the background of being a Brazilian-American 19-year-old girl. It began in 2016 as an Instagram profile that details a fictional narrative which presents Miquela as a CGI character and model in conflict with other digital projects while marketing a variety of brands, primarily in fashion.[2] Miquela has been featured in product endorsements for streetwear and luxury brands such as Calvin Klein and Prada. The account amassed more than a million followers in its first two years.[3]

The instagram images appear to be a combination of photography and CGI, there's nothing to suggest any generative AI image model is used.

There are confused articles on the internet that describe the character as AI, presumably because of the terminology "artificial influencer", which the character self-describes as (the character is supposed to be a robot).

There is also an academic paper linked below that refers to her as AI, and uses the term somewhat interchangeably with CGI. But I think that's because the authors are more interested in the social implications of internet personalities that don't correspond to real humans, than they are with the method by which the images are generated, whereas this question is about the latter.

I'll invite @Jacy to make the case for YES, then maybe we can ask another moderator or two, or maybe a moderator discord-react vote, to determine how it should resolve.

Personally I think it's an extremely clear NO, and I would resolve it myself, but @Jacy is a moderator as well, so someone else should choose.

predicted YES

@chrisjbillington I will summarize the case for YES, but I encourage resolvers to read the whole thread for context, particularly why the market price is basically just due to Chris and me rather than some consensus among traders. (Sorry about the walls of text you have to go through!)

All the web articles saying Lil Miquela is an AI account
In addition to the peer-reviewed Elsevier journal article that was the first result on Google Scholar, which Chris says is mistaken because the authors are more interested in social implications than generation, many web articles say that Lil Miquela is produced with AI. Just to give another example, a recent article at Ars Technica (a reputable tech news outlet that Wikipedia and many others consider a reliable source) titled "AI-created 'virtual influencers' are stealing business from humans" (i) is literally about AI-created virtual influencers... and (i) says specifically, "Although AI is used to generate content for Lil Miquela..." and while that itself is not a quote from the Lil Miquela producers, the rest of the sentence contains what seems to be a never-before-published quote from Kahn, which typically means the journalist interviewed them specifically for this article, lending more credibility, especially since information like this in the same sentence as a quote tends to more or less be paraphrases of less quotable statements made in the interview.


Generally held true by followers
The resolution criteria of this market give two conditions for being judged as "an AI account." The first, "the account holder must state that the content is AI generated," is evidenced by those articles, but I think even without those, the second, "it must be generally held to believed to be true of the followers," seems to very clearly hold for Lil Miquela. I haven't ran a survey, but if you look at the public reaction to Lil Miquela (e.g., Instagram comments), I think it's very clear that >50%, and likely >80% depending on wording, of Lil Miquela's followers would express this belief in a survey.


Confusion between "artificial influencer" and "artificial intelligence"
While I can see how the terms "artificial influencer" and "artificial intelligence" confuse some people, I have yet to see good evidence for Chris' claim that this is the basis for the aforementioned web articles, at least those from reasonably credible sources. The articles seem reasonably well-informed to me, though I certainly agree there's a lot of unreliable content online.


What kind of systems count as AI?
The core of Chris' rebuttal seems to be, "I'm extremely confident nobody else thinks CGI and photoshop count as AI," and I think this is extremely false and could be easily shown to be the case by surveying AI researchers and professionals. Chris seems to think of AI as only being a diffusion model or a "trained AI image-generation model with a large number of parameters, based on a neural network, similar to DALL-E, stable diffusion, midjourney, etc." (and, presumably, similar models like Transformers for NLP). He hasn't explicitly said that, so I can't properly rebut this without knowing more about his view, but I think that:

(i) it is not at all clear that such a model isn't the sort of AI used for Lil Miquela, and

(ii) CGI and Photoshop can very easily count as AI. One way to see that is that Adobe has a ton of content talking about its Photoshop tools as AI (example). Most of what Adobe talks about these days is diffusion models (e.g., creating a lighthouse in an image of a shoreline), and those features are relatively new in Photoshop and CGI more broadly, but the word AI and the idea of AI are not at all constrained to large diffusion models and LLMs or even neural networks (e.g., ConvNets, which are still widely used in machine vision). AI is a large, well-established field that was not even focused on neural networks until approximately 2012, and even now, most AI in operation is not based on neural networks. Instead, it is systems like rule-based systems, random forests, regularized regression models, and clustering algorithms.

To take the 'simplest' example, those rule-based systems are essentially just very complex decision trees, and they have been consistently referred to as AI since the 1950s. Today, consider even just the auto-enhancement that an iPhone does with every photo. You can also see this by going to almost any AI conference (e.g., at last month's NeurIPS 2023, which is arguably the most deep-learning-focused major AI conference, I saw a huge number of papers on non-neural systems), seeing how AI is used in the business world right now (e.g., I did ~30 interviews with AI professionals a few months ago and talked to them about how they defined AI), or even just reading the latest publications in the field (or even just textbooks like the most used one, Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach). The scope of AI is not nearly as narrow as Chris makes it out to be.

predicted NO

@Jacy Great! I'll ask for a discord poll some time in the next 24h.

Place your bets!

@Jacy

@chrisjbillington

I have zero stake in this market, though I do have a no position in the mod resolution of this market.

The spirit of the question (see the linked article and the description referring to "AI generated") states that AI refers to generative AI. I would disagree that an AI account refers to someone simply using AI.

Do either of you think a majority of Miquela images on Instagram are generative AI?

By "Generative AI" I do not mean CGI techniques, rendering, or photoshop etc, even if those tools may use AI in some form.

I mean a text or image prompt that produces images.

predicted NO

@nikki No, I don't think the majority are generative AI, I suspect approximately none are. It wouldn't surprise me if the creators had experimented with generative AI at some point, but I haven't seen anything that looks particularly like it. To me it looks like mostly photographs in which a CGI head has been photoshopped onto the body of a human model.

They do make full-body CGI in videos, and I'm sure some of the still images have more CGI than just her head:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bn3tUUtj2M

From my quick search on the instagram comments (which is one of the criteria in the description), I am inclined to agree with Chris here

predicted YES

@nikki those comments seem to show positive/uncertain/negative follower comments about whether the entity Lil Miquela (as a potential thing behind the images/account) is a robot/AI, but just to be clear, the criterion is merely that followers believe the Lil Miquela content is AI-generated. That's a much lower bar to clear.

boughtṀ50YES

@Jacy what are you doing? It's not AI, and even if you want to argue that it is, someone else has to think so too. Do you not have enough evidence that others dont share these types of interpretations, for it to stop you betting on them? Do you not think others would be here betting against me if there was a non-negligible chance this would resolve YES?

bought Ṁ50 of YES

@chrisjbillington you have expressed your opinion, and I've expressed mine. I'm just betting sporadically because I don't have much mana to spare as you do with all the hours you've put into betting. My guess would be that others have glanced at this market, seen the opaque and usually meta-focused and uninformative walls of text (like this) and not found it worthwhile to read and form an opinion. I'm just betting on a third party, presumably @RealityQuotient, agreeing with the arguments I put forth when they find time to pore over the comments section. I don't think you and I repeating our arguments yet again or recircling the meta-conversation will change your mind or mine.

predicted NO

@Jacy if you're betting on someone agreeing with you then that's good! That is actually what the market will resolve on. I just think you overestimate the chances of it.

predicted NO

@RealityQuotient could you clarify if this resolves YES only on an AI-generated character, that an Instagram account is about, as with the one you linked?

Or would an account like "Funny DALL-E fails" with poorly-generated DALL-E images also be sufficient for a YES?

Or something like images of actual aesthetic art, that are AI-generated, but not related to each other and not portraying any kind of human character?

For example, would this account count, if it had 1M followers?

https://instagram.com/midjourneyartwork

predicted YES

@chrisjbillington "The content must be primarily AI generated" seems to unambiguously include these. It's not "The AI artwork content must be primarily AI generated" or "The decent quality content must be primarily AI generated".

predicted NO

@Jacy the example given of an AI-generated character suggests the creator had something more specific in mind, so I'm asking for clarification.

predicted YES

@chrisjbillington Yeah, in general, I think I lean more towards strict adherence to criteria than you, and you lean more towards the "spirit" of the market than me.

predicted NO

@Jacy Very much so. Haven't you had enough experiences where the creator came back and clarified something, to make you factor in that creators also aren't literalists most of the time, though?

We've got our preferences, but it's a fact that creators frequently write criteria that aren't quite what they meant, and then they clarify. Since we're betting about how they'll resolve, our own preferences aren't what matter.

predicted YES

@chrisjbillington I haven't seen many examples where these were in conflict, but I think they've mostly been resolved in the literal instead of spiritual direction. Of course, you have a lot more experience on Manifold than me :)

To your second point, I also rarely see clarification that goes against the written resolution criteria. It's just resolving ambiguity, since writing very specific resolution criteria is usually really time-consuming.

predicted NO

I guess our preferences matter insofar as we can encourage different norms, in which case, yes: I think it's good to encourage clarification in cases like this, that's why the description box has an edit button and the site would be much worse if we didn't use it.

predicted YES

@chrisjbillington I think it's a personal choice whether people optimize for profits or norms, but I agree it's good to encourage clarification and the edit button is good and important.

predicted NO

@Jacy I agree that it's usually resolving ambiguity, but I have a broader idea of ambiguity than you. Here we have a literal reading that just says "ai generated", and an example that seems more specific. This is an ambiguity to me, because I don't prioritise the literal wording over the overall vibe, unless the creator explicitly says that that's what they're going for.

predicted YES

@chrisjbillington that's a pretty fair characterization.

bought Ṁ95 of NO

@RealityQuotient could you clarify how you'll resolve this market in such cases? Thanks.

bought Ṁ18 of YES

@RealityQuotient please be sure to not let Chris' large bank account and confident betting influence your decision!

predicted NO

@Jacy they're inactive, this is going to be modresolved. After close I'll be posting it to #please-resolve with "resolves NO, see top comment" after posting a comment saying "nobody has provided evidence of such an account and I can't find one, note that lil Miquela is not AI-generated despite some confused sources describing it as such". Would you object to that? I don't really think this is a judgement call at all.

predicted NO

@Jacy I agree my balance and betting should not be a factor.

predicted YES

@chrisjbillington How do you know they're inactive? It looks like they resolved something on Nov 8. I'm not sure of standard practice, but my default would be to give them some time (a week? IDK) to resolve their own market.

I disagree with the accuracy of your proposed comment, of course, but that's the whole discussion we've been having.

predicted NO

@Jacy great, you actually do disagree with it. I thought you might have just been playing devil's advocate. If this was your market, you would have resolved YES already? Why not make your case in a top-level comment and post to #please-resolve now?

Yeah, Nov 8th was long enough ago that a market like this would typically be modresolved immediately if evidence were given and it was posted to please-resolve. We pinged them asking for clarification and didn't get it, so the creator has demonstrated they're not responsive whether they're active or not.

There are discussions around giving inactive users specific amounts of time to respond, this might become official policy later, but right now it's typically instant for inactivity more than a month. Just because mods don't have the mental capacity or tools to actually track these things.

If you think this should resolve, post it to #please-resolve. I think the only risk it resolves YES is someone mistakenly thinks lil Miquela is actually generated by stable diffusion type models, not that they think traditional CGI and Photoshop count as AI.

predicted YES

@chrisjbillington I don't think early external resolution of a market with criteria this contentious makes sense, and external resolution with subjective criteria when someone has only been inactive for a month or two seems like bad policy to me. I've already spent more time discussing this in the comments than I'd like. I've made the case here (e.g., that I think "traditional CGI and Photoshop" is misleading; that I think only assessing diffusion models or neural networks as AI is ahistorical and out of touch with the field); I don't like repeating myself; and adding more comments just makes it harder for the market creator or external resolver to sort through the discussion.

predicted NO

@Jacy I don't think it's unclear whether lil Miquela counts, and if I were a mod and not trading, I would resolve NO at close without consultation. It's not AI as anyone thinks of it. The clarification I asked about was something else which hasn't come up anyway. It being contentious between you and I is very odd.

About early resolution - It's also bad for people to keep trading when the facts are known but resolution criteria aren't clear (which I don't think they are when it comes to lil Miquela, but I repeat myself). There is starting to be some precedent for proactive mod clarification on markets with ambiguous criteria and inactive creators. You could post to #please-resolve requesting a mod ruling on this matter.

Just to repeat though - I'm extremely confident nobody else thinks CGI and photoshop count as AI. The only way this resolves YES is because a mod misunderstands what lil Miquela is.

adding more comments just makes it harder for the market creator or external resolver to sort through the discussion.

Many such cases - that's why you make a top-level comment summarising the situation before posting to #please-resolve. Reading the actual comment thread shouldn't be a requirement on mods.

A TL;DR is easy: I think photoshop and CGI aren't AI for the purposes of this question, and you do. If they are, YES, if they're not, NO. We agree on that, yeah?

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