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Virtually Real: Humanlike Virtual Influencers
and Politics of Artificial Technologies

(book manuscript in preparation)

What does it mean to be human in mediated communication environments? How do we want to be together?

I am currently working on my first book project Virtually Real: Humanlike Virtual Influencers and Politics of Artificial Technologies to tackle these questions. Virtually Real examines the cultural implications of "humanlike" artificial technologies' increasing social integration in our everyday cultures through the case of virtual influencers, uniquely drawing on fieldwork that incorporates English, Korean, and Japanese language-based examples and participants. I critically trace various (hidden) people, things, and structures in the phenomenon to explore how these "humanlike" artificial social actors become meaningfully (or as some would say, virtually) "real," however with unresolved ambiguities around issues of power and accountability.