The future is here with South Korean record label SM Entertainment annoucing their latest Kpop girl group will have virtual members alongside humans. According to the founder of SM Entertainment, Lee Soo-man, “aespa” will kick off the SM Culture Universe(SMCU) which will usher in “the beginning of the future of entertainment,” reports SCMP.
“This group is what I’ve dreamed of, as it projects a future world centered on celebrities and avatars, transcending boundaries between the real and virtual worlds,” Lee said. “A whole new group with an original and inventive concept be born.”
The name “aespa” is a combination of “æ,” “avatar x experience, and “aspect.”
“The members who reside in the real world and the avatar members who reside in the virtual world meet up in a middle world, the digital world, where they communicate, empathize, and grow together,” Lee said. “Aespa is a new group where the members of the real world and the avatar members of the virtual world co-exist, supporting and assisting one another, and they are able to promote together with a revolutionary identity. The real-life members and the avatar members are separate organisms, and the avatar members have AI brains that allow for them to converse and to support the real members, even befriending them, sharing information, as well as going back and forth from one world to another.”
So far aespa has three members. Two humans, “Ningning” and “Karina” and one virtual member “æ-Karina.” Check out two of them interviewing each other below.
A new girl group by SM Entertainment has been hotly anticipated. The last time the company introduced a new girl group was “Red Velvet” in 2014. Aespa will officially arrive in November.