Can you love something that is heartless?
MAVE is an AI (Artificial Intelligence) K-pop group where the name is short for “Making New Waves”. If you haven’t heard of them yet, are you even alive? Wait, are they even alive? I have been up and down the internet to get this news to you and I have not found one credible source that will say whether the singers are real or magically artificially generated. Ironically, the lyrics in “Pandora” say that “Everyone is heartless”. MAVE, ladies, aren’t you the heartless ones here?
Love has many parts.
It was difficult to find out who were the real faces and voices behind MAVE. But knowing who is behind MAVE became even more exciting. First, the company’s name is Metaverse Entertainment. This company has received investment funding from Hyundai Motorgroup last year. Hyundai investing in a artificial intelligence? (I sense something futuristic happening in car technology down the road… vroom vroom)
So, who is Metaverse Entertainment? They have two main parts. Kakao Entertainment and Netmarble F&C. What makes this pair interesting is who they are linked to.
Kakao Entertainment is a subsidiary of the internet company Kakao. Netmarble F&C is a gaming development company who is a subsidiary of Netmarble. They also happen to be one of the biggest shareholders of Hybe. (Yes, that Hybe!) What kind of crazy combination could you get with connections to a leading internet company, the largest automobile company in the country and one of the most influential entertainment companies of all time?
The MAVE combination of Siu, Zena, Marty, and Tyra. The four individuals that make up MAVE!
A Love Like Never Before
Existing KPOP related AI individuals or groups is not a new concept. Aespa has their virtual counterparts. Blackpink won the MTV Metaverse Best Performance Award. Avatars are used all the time on social media. Other non KPOP artists have also held concerts in the Metaverse like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Meghan Thee Stallion. What makes this group different? As of 3 days ago, MAVE’s music video “Pandora” has had 13 million views. The appeal of this all AI group is that they have a high quality visual and movement quality. I would not expect less from a company that has the support of the a large internet company, a reputable gaming company, and has links to a leader in the entertainment industry. The difference between this AI group and others is that it is 13 million views strong.
MAVE’s Future on 2-20-23
MAVE is sticking to its course and riding the wave in proper form of Kpop Idol. First, the debut music video. Then it was a light stick for the fandom. Recently, they released a cheer video, asking the fans for an official fandom name, and several streaming events.In a somewhat calculating fashion, Metaverse Entertainment is not stopping. On February 20, Kakao will launch a video comic to spread more information about MAVE called “MAVE: Another World” The webtoon will show how the girls crashed into earth from outer space and then auditioned to become idol trainees.
Turn That Frown Upside Down
MetaVerse Entertainment posted YouTube videos about dance practice using MAVE’s “Pandora”. The video had confused me because I thought I was watching MAVE. Instead, they were just professional dancers and very real people who were not singing. Why would you post this Metaverse Entertainment? It’s not the real MAVE. It’s just a group of professional dancers. A group of really good dancers that actually deserve a lot of respect for this performance. Watching real dancers perform the AI dance seemed oddly motivating ( who played Dance Revolution? )
Deep Fake Love!
The controversary going around the internet is a natural reaction to the unnatural concept of AI for KPOP. People are worried that these robotic lifelike characters will take away from real artists. It was disappointing to not find real singers behind MAVE (I will keep trying!) Is it the mystery that is appealing to its current new fandom? Or is this AI technology so advanced that with the use of Deep Learning, Deep Fake, and Avatar technology, no one can tell the difference between what sounds and looks real versus what is not real. Will no one ever know what was real and what was not behind MAVE?
Heartless for Real Hearts
The popularity of K-pop can help actual artist take a break. They can use their AI twins to perform for their fans. The AI versions can communicate with fans. The industry itself is filled with horror stories of individuals who have had their mental health go bad from the experience of training as an idol. Perhaps the AI avatar could be a creative outlet for those who cannot be seen but want to be heard. But, again the difference with other KPOP groups is that MAVE doesn’t really need to take a break since it is complete AI. This group has the right amounts of pixels and discipline to be the perfect KPop Idol with no known voice or real face. The label also does not have to worry about scandals.
Some people also believe that there is no demand for this. However, one could also argue that at one point in time, there was not a demand for cellphones. There was not a demand for AirPods or AirPads. Minds could find a change of heart from things that have no heart.
MAVE, I Choose You!
The reality of MAVE is that they are virtually here. This group has made 13 million users watch their debut video. People are interested because MAVE has all the things that people generally want. I see a fusion of several worlds colliding that already exist into what is now the Metaverse. What will the collision of these new worlds bring?
The fun of Kpop is that there are options to choose your fandom, your bias, and who do you stan? Different companies and different fandoms. If MAVE crash landed in their “universe”, where are the others? Lina is one Metaverse Entertainment’s first virtual idols who is currently “working” at entertainment events. She is also supposed to have her four-member group debut one day. Will they compete against MAVE? Who will Lina's group be?
What are things that video games have? Battles. Well, dancers have battles as well. How fun would a gaming battle be between virtual K-pop groups? AI Kpop idols will have the advantage of no physical limitations. They will also have no emotion repercussions from label abuse, fan abuse, and psychological harm. Is the Metaverse a safer world for AI and could this be the Metaverse be an area where human Kpop idols can satisfy their fandoms but gain reprieve in the real world?
If Metaverse follows gaming fashion, I hope they make their photocards like Pokemon cards. The introduction to MAVE already had a Pokemon like vibe when it showed the statistics of each members’ personality. This could be the beginning of a whole entire universe of collectible AI Kpop Idols. Can I get a Pikachu Kpop idol that dances with lightning bolts? I know a far fetched idea, but who knew we would be here with MAVE?
Pandora Box Opened!
The summarized story of Pandora’s box is that the box contains elements that will destroy the world. If MAVE held Pandora’s box, then this world is the Metaverse. The main supporting players of Metaverse Entertainment would be the gateway to a plethora of open space for AI to grow using KPOP.
The real resource will always remain to be the data collected from real humans. It is a matter of how you look at the box. Will you think of these artists in our world or rather we are looking into the Metaverse world? Will you be able to love something heartless?
The answer should already be yes to those who have had existing avatars, loved anime and cartoons. No one will ever beat our real Kpop idols. But, who do you know that has a ton of BT21 with the Army cloud looking cartoon? Who dressed up as anime cosplay for Halloween? Who logged into the Metaverse to watch a concert? I don't think MAVE is making new waves, but I believe at 13 million views on YouTube, they are certainly making waves. MAVE is doing everything better with quality technology, entertaining music, and dance routines that inspire real dancers to get up.
These advantages helps MAVE to have the potential to Make a New Wave.
What’s your thought?
Keep the Pandora box open?
Or should the Pandora box be closed?