This Swedish virtual baby influencer is seriously creeping people out

The Local Sweden
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This Swedish virtual baby influencer is seriously creeping people out
Elis is described as having "a large appetite for all that life has to offer". Image: Ica

Swedish supermarket chain Ica has launched what it says may be "the world's first virtual baby influencer": six-month-old Elis.


Elis is a typical six-month-old: curious, smiley, and interested in food, toys, and adventures. The only difference is she isn't actually a real baby. 

First announced by the company on Wednesday, Elis has already picked up over 2,000 followers on her Instagram account


A post shared by Elis (@bebiselis) on Oct 9, 2019 at 12:00am PDT

The goal of the virtual baby and her Instagram account is to draw attention to Ica's newly broadened range of baby foods, according to a company press statement. 

"Becoming a parent for many people is fun, scary and confusing; with Elis we want to help in this confusion and create an entertaining, informative and hopefully very rewarding place where people can get answers on diet, health and everyday things," said Ica dietician Paula Frösell.

Reactions to baby Elis have had some comments on her Instagram calling her "sweet" and "cute". But like many influencers, she has also received her fair share of online negativity, with one Twitter user saying she resembled "a baby from a horror film" and another saying "thanks for the inspiration for my nightmares".

"Uncanny valley right there," commented Alex Black on The Local's Facebook page, referring to the theory that suggests that humanoid objects provoke an increasingly eerie feeling when they almost-but-not-quite resemble humans.

"Based on the picture alone? Creepy," commented Sofia Meaden.

And some on Twitter also drew comparisons between Baby Elis and Chucky, the evil doll who is the main antagonist of slasher movies Child's Play:


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