Welcome to the future of community engagement where greetings and comments may very well come from an AI-generated virtual team member.

Such is the case with uber-hair care brand Olaplex, which today launched an AI-generated virtual team member to interact and engage with their community of professional hairstylists and consumers on the brand’s website and social media platforms. The new team member is a composite made up of visual and personality characteristics of the brand’s 200-plus employee team.

The AI-generated team member, who identifies as she/her/her/his/they/them, was created by taking the images of more than 240 brand advocates and employees, as well as the emotional quality of each person, to merge into a composite that is a bias-free visual representation of the entire team. The voice is a synthesis of about 15 team members that account for differences in accents, gender, and tone of voice. To bring the AI image to life, it was overlayed onto a real person using visual effects and facial compositing. The resulting virtual team member looks to engage digitally to educate on Olaplex products and campaigns, as well as answer questions digitally.

“Research shows that consumers want to see themselves and feel connected and engaged with the brands and companies they do business with,” said JuE Wong, Chief Executive Officer of Olaplex, in a statement. “The new Olaplex virtual team member is the synthesis of us – the people that built the brand from the ground up, mirroring the community of professional hair stylists and consumers that we serve. As unique as we are as individuals, we are united by our passion for Olaplex.”

The new virtual team member will make its debut on the brand’s Instagram feed @olaplex May 9, where followers can participate in a poll to assign the new member a name. Name options include:

  • Cigi: The name Cigi implies “visionary,” original in ideas, inventive, ingenious, and creative in dealing with practical aspects of life.
  • Kai: Primarily a gender-neutral name with multi-national origins (Hawaiian to Scandinavian), Kai means “ocean” or “sea.”
  • Rumi: Of Japanese origin and traditionally for the female gender, the adoption of the name Rumi has evolved by other cultures and has taken on a more gender-neutral perspective. In its Korean origin, the meaning of Rumi is ‘gift of god,’ while in its Latin origin, Rumi means ‘amazing and beautiful creature.’