Campaign SpotlightPress Release

Young, philosophical and attractive: Jung von Matt brings back Immanuel Kant as a 23-year old influencer via AI

HAMBURG, GERMANY — April 22 is the 300th anniversary of the German great philosopher Immanuel Kant’s birthday. His ideas remain relevant, and without him, our understanding of democracy, freedom, peace, and justice would still be vastly different today. Yet, today Kant is hardly read; his works are challenging and not easily accessible, especially for young people. 

With wars and conflicts in 2024 making Kant’s ideas for peace and better coexistence more important than ever, German association FRIENDS OF KANT AND KÖNIGSBERG worked with agency Jung von Matt CREATORS to bring Kant back to life, using AI to create a modern-day persona designed to appeal to a Gen Z audience. 

The result is Manu, a 23-year-old influencer who, as @manumanukant, lives a typical young life in 2024. With an Instagram bio that describes himself as “Spreading good vibes and deep thoughts” he’s  a handsome young guy who shares images, selfies (himself looking soulful in bookstores for example), stories, and reels and comments. 

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But alongside this aesthetic feed, Manu manages to convey profound philosophical concepts in contemporary language, casually introducing his followers to Kant’s philosophy. In one post, for example, he analyses the song lyrics of Miley Cyrus’ “Flowers,”  explaining how they tie in with his ideas about the importance of self respect and autonomy.

Alongside the Manu account, JvM also created an Instagram Teleprompter filter called FacesForPeace, allowing people to record one themselves reciting one of Kant’s nine articles from “Perpetual Peace.”  This work was published by Kant in 1795 and describes how eternal peace can be achieved – a goal still worth striving for even after 300 years.

The entire Manu account was created using the GenAI platform STABLES. His appearance, his voice, his texts – every component of the new Kant has been translated and brought to life as authentically as possible over 300 years. Initially, an AI-generated face based on paintings of the philosopher was projected onto a stand-in model, and a large language model was fine-tuned with Kant’s original texts and adapted to a younger language. His voice is a synthesized and AI-generated version of the real-life TikTok influencer Ole Liebl

All the elements come together to create an authentic influencer, who has quickly built an engaged organic community. Since quietly launching on Instagram and Threads in January, the account, which was designed to peak on April 22, Kant’s 300th birthday, has achieved over 384.8 thousand impressions, reached 82.4 thousand accounts, and has an engagement rate of 51.2%. The FaceforPeace filter, meanwhile, has a conversion rate of 61%.

“Using artificial intelligence to promote humanistic thinking may sound like a contradiction,” said Robert Andersen, Managing Director of JvM CREATORS. “But in reality it shows how role play with an AI persona can inspire a new generation about Kant’s school of thought.”

“Immuanuel Kant’s thinking is still as fresh as it was 300 years ago. Finally we have the technological means to make a younger generation not only fall in love with his looks, but also with his philosophy,” added Daniel Schaefer, Chief Creative Officer at Jung von Matt.

Credits:

Jung von Matt
Robert Andersen (Managing Director), 
Moritz August (Lead Machine Learning Engineer), 
Jasmin Singh (Senior Motion Designer), 
Christian Schumann (Senior Art Director Production Design), 
Julian Schau (Senior Motion Designer), 
Anjuli Kaltenborn (Project Manager), 
Dana Schönefeld (Junior Copywriter), 
Lea Hauprich, (Student Academy), 
Matthias Detjen (Student Assistant Copy), 
Vera Seergew-Arndt (Student Assistant Art)

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