We’re continuing our monthly blog series of campaigns that we loved at Midas.
In April, ASICS launched a new AI training programme with the goal of improving Artificial Intelligence’s perception and portrayal of body image and exercise.
Partnering with AI Expert Omar Karim, ASICS has compiled a series of images depicting real people of all shapes and sizes enjoying exercise. These images, along with carefully curated lines of codes and AI prompts, are fed to AI generators to help teach tech that healthy bodies can have a variety of appearances.
According to Karim, who is well-versed in the world of AI, “when you type in generic terms for exercise, you get back a very stereotypical image […] All these platforms that are readily available tend to make only non-diverse characters.” The vast majority of images depict extremely muscular, unsmiling people with zero body fat and 12-pack abs.
With AI images regarding ‘health’ and ‘exercise’ focusing primarily on aesthetics and unrealistic body standards, ASICS worries that people’s ideas regarding exercise and its benefits are becoming further distorted. With AI becoming more commonplace than ever, such images are also becoming more and more difficult to escape.
ASIC’s recent survey found that seven in ten people (72%) feel that AI-generated images have caused them to develop worries about their own bodies. Participants described how AI images surrounding exercise made them feel – most commonly – ‘unfit’, ‘inferior,’ and ‘unattractive’. In fact, most said that these images served only to deter them from exercising, leaving them feeling unmotivated and uninspired.
EVP at ASICS EMEA Gary Raucher has recently spoken on the benefits of exercise “not just on the body, but also on the mind.” With their new AI Training Programme, ASICS hopes to change technology’s ‘image of exercise’ to in turn change the public image of exercise. The sportswear company is therefore asking the public to share images of themselves while exercising on social media using the hashtag #TrainingAI and tagging ASICS. After passing through a confirmation process, the images will be added to the image bank and used to re-train the AI’s ideas of what exercise looks like.
The goal of this campaign is to encourage people to view and partake in exercise for its overall benefits, rather than with the hope of achieving extreme and unrealistic physical transformation.