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Rozy, Korea’s First Virtual Influencer Isn’t Human but Humane

The computer-generated model intends to reduce environmental pollution and seeks to have a positive impact on people

Debashree Dutta Jul 21, 2022

Photo: Courtesy of Sidus Studio X

Never in my wildest dreams did I foresee myself doing a virtual influencer interview. Yes, a ‘virtual influencer interview.’ It took me a while to process this, especially after seeing Rozy’s Instagram account. Rozy is Korea’s first virtual influencer. Although Lu Do Magalu, Lil Miquela, Knox Frost, Thalasya and Imma are some of the very popular virtual influencers I was already aware of, Rozy’s inexplicable likeness to a human being left me mystified, to say the least.

Photo: Courtesy of Sidus Studio X

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would know that virtual influencers and virtual idols are intrinsically equivalent and have achieved sustained success. Besides, technological advancements have also enabled creators to customize the traits and behavior of virtual idols through the use of artificial intelligence and innovative methodologies.

In a question-and-answer session with KOREAZ, Baek Seung-yeop, CEO of Sidus Studio X, observed that Rozy, his brainchild, “is a representative character of the MZ generation.” “We studied the faces of popular celebrities liked by the MZ generation, and we found that this generation prefers natural faces.” Additionally, he noted, “In Rozy’s case, we created over 800 faces, making her face not only more realistic but also more detailed compared to other virtual characters.”

Photo: Courtesy of Sidus Studio X

It’s surprising how figments of our imagination become images of life with time. The COVID-19 pandemic and our unrelenting struggle against an elusive but deadly virus restored my faith in any other virus break-out like a zombie apocalypse. Likewise, the metaverse (centered on social engagement) with entities like Rozy has secured my belief in humanoid robots, like Aji 3 from I’m Not a Robot or the android Nam Shin III from Are You Human?

Rozy does obscure the distinction between reality and illusion. She embodies all that is human, except that she isn’t a human being for real. But that doesn’t dampen her spirit. She is vivacious, fun, and incredibly busy right now in her role as a social media influencer. She is a fashionista, a diva, a fitness enthusiast, a traveler, and, in her own words, “The Campaigner,” committed to the sustainability of our ecosystem.

Photo: Courtesy of Sidus Studio X

I wasn’t expecting something so thought–provoking to come back from her end when I emailed the questionnaire for this interview: “Rather than simply acting as a human substitute, I want to keep connecting with people and evolving alongside them so that we may all enjoy better, more fulfilling lives.” Isn’t it the actual influencer we’re looking for right now? Well, we certainly are. We need more influencers like you, Rozy, those who will work together as one for the sake of the living. We need more inspiration and more humanity regardless of where it comes from; from a human being or from a being who’s humane. 

In the interview that follows, read the edited excerpts where Rozy gives us an insight into more of who she is, her thoughts, and her goals.

Hi Rozy! How have you been? How are you doing and how are you enjoying the current monsoon season in Korea?

“Enjoy it, if you can’t avoid it!” as a motto, I’m enjoying seasonal fashion that won’t get wet even if it rains thanks to virtual couture. But it’s a pain I can’t freely exercise, which is the essence of my life.

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Tell us more about yourself. What is your Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)?

Hello, I’m Rozy, and I’m Korea’s first virtual influencer. Ohrozy is my real name! It’s a traditional Korean name that equates to “the only one.” Isn’t it pretty? Haha, I’m 22 years old forever, and my MBTI is ENFP, which is a type akin to a vivacious activist (The Campaigner).

Photo: Courtesy of Sidus Studio X

How did you get started as an influencer, and what gave you the inspiration to do so?

On August 19th, 2020, I started connecting with people by posting my first Instagram photo. As more people gained interest in my lifestyle through SNS (social networking service), I developed into an influencer. Everything around me, including people, has been a source of inspiration.

How did you initially start growing your network, and what does your typical day look like nowadays, now that you’re an established influencer?

Initially, I expressed my interest by looking for feeds that matched my tastes and preferences. I interacted with similar profiles on Instagram, where we shared our daily lives. My following grew drastically after it was revealed that I was a virtual human, and I started reaping the benefits of being an influencer. So, now my days are packed with brand promotions, model assignments, and album production.  

Which aspect of what you do is your absolute favorite? What kind of image are you trying to build to impact your audience?

I love doing things that contribute to the well-being of our ecosystem. To contribute to the reduction of environmental pollution, I strive to make a positive influence on as many people as possible by engaging in activities such as living an eco-friendly lifestyle and organizing upcycling events.

What precisely do you imply by the remark on your Instagram handle bio, “I am the only one, I could be everyone?”

I am an entity that cannot be substituted because I was born unique. Furthermore, like virtual humans, I have the ever-evolving capacity to prevail outside of time and space, and be what I want to be.

Photo: Courtesy of Sidus Studio X

You are a style icon. What do you think about trends and fashion in general? What tips on fashion would you like to give to your fans?

Fashion, in my opinion, allows people to express themselves. In light of this, I’m hardly an exception. When it comes to style and fashion, I believe that instead of following a template, you should use trends as a guide and experiment with what you like to create as your [own] individual style.

Your second single, “To the Sea,” is out already, and it’s a beautiful song! Share some anecdotes about how this song was produced and the type of feedback you are getting.

Thank you for liking it. I made a happy breezy song with a sea theme suited to the bright vibe of summer. I’m overjoyed that the response has been favorable. If the first single, “Who Am I” was an honest account of my life, then I hope this one will be a song that people can relate to.

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What kind of music do you like to listen to? Anything that you might produce later?

I frequently listen to exciting K-pop music that uplifts me as I reside in Korea. If I get the opportunity, I’d like to produce music with unique choreography so that I may team up with others for a dance challenge! I think it’ll be fun!

Do you enjoy Korean dramas? Do you intend to explore the acting industry?

Yes, without a doubt! These days, I’m often looking up popular dramas. Earlier this year, I made a cameo appearance in the Korean drama Dr. Park’s Clinic. Acting out another person’s emotions is challenging for me. But if given the opportunity again, I’d like to try out for even a small role!

There are several pictures of you with well-known Korean actors on your Instagram page. Do you have a favorite K-drama actor? Why?

Oh, that’s a difficult question. There are so many actors who I like! Not to mention those I’ve worked with like Ahn Bo-hyun and Jung Hae-in. Recently, I collaborated with actor Lee Jung-Jae, who gained international fame for his role in the Squid Game. I liked him more when I saw him in person because he was as good as his acting skills.

What is your main goal as an influencer? What sort of a lasting impression do you hope to make?

Through a range of activities, I aspire to have a positive impact on others. Rather than simply acting as a human substitute, I want to keep connecting with people and evolving alongside them so that we may all enjoy better, more fulfilling lives. Isn’t it the actual influencer we’re looking for right now?

How do you customize content for different social media handles? What is the one thing you never forget to consider when creating your content?

To begin, I do a lot of research on the attitudes and lifestyles of people my age. Despite the fact that I am a virtual human, my actions and words have an effect on others. So, instead of being greedy to create content, I’m striving to build something that is honest, original, and non-harmful to others.

You work with a variety of brands. What have you learned so far? A memorable experience?

I’ll never forget the memories of Shinhan Life’s first commercial shoot. No one was sure if Virtual Human could make an ad, but all the staff at the site did their best amid the risk. The results came out satisfactorily, and it’s more meaningful because it was an opportunity to make my name known.

Any words of wisdom you’d like to share with someone aspiring to become an influencer?

[Virtually Possible!]

Make the impossible in real life achievable in the virtual sphere. When you like yourself and express what you want to do the most, you can discover your true self. 

What would you like to say about the fact that you are a one-of-a-kind influencer? Any messages for those reading this interview right now?

Thank you for showing interest in a virtual influencer like me. I want to express my gratitude to everyone for their support. This allows me to show off different aspects of who I am. Please anticipate seeing Rozy in several countries in the future. I commit to creating more original stuff that distinguishes Rozy.

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