Miss America 2023
Miss America 2023 Grace Stanke attends the American Heart Association's Red Dress Collection Concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Courtesy of Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

While real models like Paloma Elsesser and Kaia Gerber are still reigning in beauty, artificial intelligence (AI) has found its way to beauty pageants. As if virtual spa days presented by apps like skinbetter aren't enough, the dominant form of technology has expanded to an extravaganza where influencer and model bots will compete for the title of Miss AI. The top AI influencers will be announced May 10 and will compete for a total of $20,000 with first place getting $13,000, second place $5,000 and third getting $2,000. Who would've thought?

The new project created by the World AI Creator Awards is the first of its kind that opened April 14. Human judges, including beauty pageant historian Sally-Ann Fawcett as well as bot creators Aitana Lopez and Emily Pellegrini, will rate contestants based on their looks, content, social media popularity and formulation. "AI creators' social clout will be assessed based on their engagement numbers with fans, rate of growth of audience and utilization of other platforms such as Instagram," says the company's website.

While the industry has made significant strides through inclusive brands like Lizzo's Yitty and Serena Williams' WYN Beauty, this technological advance seems a bit harmful to these efforts. The concept of judging fake beauty only contributes to the unrealistic standards that human pageants promote.

Throughout history, these contests have also received criticism for putting women through unnecessary turmoil and stress to win competitions, which was seen in the Secrets of Miss America documentary last year. In the series, past and present contestants came forth about the mistreatment they experienced in their journey, including body shaming, racism and bullying.

"The immense amount of pressure that comes along with working towards something like this and upholding that standard for a year — the rigorous workload, the loneliness, I think that's the thing that people don't get," 2010 winner Caressa Cameron Jackson told People. The taxing conditions have even contributed to mental health issues with Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst tragically taking her life two years ago.

The Miss AI event features strictly faux humans, but what impact will the results have on the lives of real women?

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