Levi’s announced that it will begin using Artificial Intelligence-generated clothing models in a so-called effort to increase “diversity” for its online shoppers. The popular denim-clothing company said that it will not fully replace human models, but is using AI models to better address “equity, diversity, and inclusion.”
The global head of digital and emerging technology strategy at Levi Strauss & Co, Amy Gershkoff Bolles, commented that the AI models will not be fully replacing human models but will instead act as a “supplement” for them in the attempt to construct a more “personal” online shopping experience.
According to The Verge, Bolles stated, “While AI will likely never fully replace human models for us, we are excited for the potential capabilities this may afford us for the consumer experience.”
The company also commented in the press release that it does not view AI models as the “sole solution” to addressing and promoting equity, inclusion, and diversity.
AI technology has been noted as a potential way for online shoppers to customize their clothing model to better visualize the clothing on an actual person, such as themselves.
According to the Cut, the company stated, “This AI technology can potentially assist us by supplementing models and unlocking a future where we can enable customers to see our products on more models that look like themselves, creating a more personal and inclusive shopping experience.”
The outlet further notes that the company has conducted large-scale layoffs with 700 roles cut in 2020 and 800 roles cut last year. The cuts have resulted in an annual $100 million being saved.
The company has faced backlash over the decision and prompted questions as to why they could not just hire actual diverse groups of people.
One Twitter user commented, “So instead of increasing diversity by hiring actual Black and Brown models, Levi’s is going to get AI models. The conversation around diversity has hit the “jumped the shark” level. Cuz WTF.”