GRR

Mahindra has already "fired" its AI ambassador

11th January 2024
Ethan Jupp

Mahindra Formula E team has reversed its decision to ‘hire’ an AI virtual ambassador after less than two days following intense backlash and outcry from fans.

In a statement posted on Instagram this morning, Frederic Bertrand CEO & Team Principal of Mahindra said “Nurturing diversity, inclusion and innovation is at the heart of Mahindra Racing. Our AI Influencer programme was designed with this innovation in mind.

“Your comments hold tremendous value. We have listened, understood and decided to discontinue the project.”

mahindra_ava_ai_goodwood_10012024.jpg

The initial post introducing ‘her’ – it – read as follows:

“Meet @avabeyondreality, our Artificial Intelligence (AI) Ambassador!

She’s our go-to Sustainable Tech Champ, navigating the cutting edge of innovation to create positive change.

Plus, she’s passionate about @fiaformulae and is here to share some exciting BTS content from the championship over the season.”

Her (its) first post was four weeks ago, self-introducing as an influencer here to “shake things up”, asking for questions in the comments to which it can respond. It’s posted 11 times since then with the usual cookie-cutter influencer poses and formula. Quite why it’s posting about having a good night’s sleep though, is beyond us…

‘Her’ appointment as an ‘employee’ of Mahindra’s caused quite the ruckus however, particularly given Ava’s is a role many highly talented, qualified, hard-working humans could perform. There’s also a lot of commentary alluding to motorsport’s patchy reputation around representation and equal opportunities.

Indeed, one commenter said “motorsport companies/teams will do anything but hire actual women”, and another said “or you could have hired one of the many talented women in the Motorsport space”.

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