Artificial Love: K-pop, AI, and Aespa’s Concept

When we first heard about the concept of an AI Kpop group, we were both intrigued and ambivalent. On the surface, Aespa looks and sounds like something created out of service to an incel male fantasy – hips and busts sizes that aren’t realistic with human proportions. But on the other hand, it could open the door for a lot of unprecedented creative expression. Aespa, a virtual group created by SM Entertainment, is the first girl group to push a virtual AI concept within Kpop, and it’s created quite a bit of a polarizing response among western Kpop fans. As a western Kpop fan who follows both AI and Kpop, Peter dug deeper to discover how we should feel and respond to this group. Should we embrace this virtual concept, or should we be concerned? We spoke to a few experts to provide some clues.

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