Kami, a “virtual influencer” with Down syndrome created in 2022, is back in the news again. That’s thanks to the ad agency behind it, Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore, taking top honors at a recent NY Festivals Advertising Awards show for work that inspired the greatest social impact.

It’s a great excuse to introduce Kami to those of you who didn’t read about the virtual influencer when it was created. It came about when Down Syndrome International (DSI) teamed up with the ad agency and global digital modeling agency The Diigitals to design a more inclusive avatar.

When avatars are designed, physical and other disabilities and other “perceived flaws [are] often removed” Julie Seal, Head of Accessibility Council, Meta, said in a YouTube video about Kami’s creation (see below).

Kami was created by combining the faces of 100 real young women with Down syndrome from 16 countries. That 2D image was used to create a 3D representation, and that image was sculpted into a 360 3D model.

You can check out Kami’s (rather spare) account on Instagram, @itskamisworld.

What are virtual influencers? These characters were touted as the Next Big Thing in influencer marketing, Digiday reports, but, in bad news for Kami, now that “the generative artificial intelligence boom has the advertising industry enamored,” virtual influencers seem to have fallen out of favor.

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