Digital creations become millionaires

Actual existence not a prerequisite for wealth anymore

For a long time, people invested in and trusted those who they could see in the flesh. Steve Jobs presenting the new iPhone on stage. Tick. Warren Buffet speaking at the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting. Tick. Heidi Klum strutting her stuff for Victoria’s Secret. Tick.

Not anymore. The world economy has witnessed a new influx of millionaires who built their wealth on, well, nothing. Nothing but data, that is.

It started with computer-generated models and Instagram influencers who dethroned real people. Remember the meltdown when Macy’s told Gisele they wouldn’t be using her for the Christmas campaign…ouch. But the avatar they replaced her with was stunning.

Soon after, we saw it advance to a New York Times bestselling AI author who didn’t even have a social security number – not directly, at least. In these cases, the (digital) proxy does all the work, but the (human) creator pockets the profit. How’s that for sitting back and letting the money roll in?

Beauty, creativity and authenticity used to be valued as pure human traits; we used to believe that these attributes mattered in and of themselves. However, the latest statistics published by UBS show that there’s a growing group of businesses and consumers who either can’t tell what’s real and what’s not, or they don’t care – as long as their jewelry line sells on a digital model, or the novel is a real page-turner.

It’s a curious world we live in, folks. Curious indeed.

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

Despite appearances to the contrary, Futureworld cannot and does not predict the future. Our Mindbullets scenarios are fictitious and designed purely to explore possible futures, challenge and stimulate strategic thinking. Use these at your own risk. Any reference to actual people, entities or events is entirely allegorical. Copyright Futureworld International Limited. Reproduction or distribution permitted only with recognition of Copyright and the inclusion of this disclaimer.