© dehweh / stock.adobe.com

Synthetic Media – The Future of Content Generation?


Prof. Dr. Stefan Stieglitz

Prof. Dr. Stefan Stieglitz

About the research project

Team: Prof. Dr. Stefan Stieglitz, Sünje Clausen (University of Potsdam)

Project period: Mai 2022 – November 2023

Content generation is one of the core tasks of corporate communications, which could be implemented more quickly and cost-effectively using synthetic media. Synthetic media” is computer-generated content (images, videos, audio, text) that is created or modified using artificial intelligence methods, among other things.

A research project at the University of Potsdam investigated one aspect of synthetic media: Virtual avatars active in social media (virtual influencers). In cooperation with the partner company Sanofi, requirements for virtual influencers in corporate communications were collected and a prototype for a virtual influencer was developed.


  • a brief introduction to influencer communication
  • potential benefits and challenges of virtual influencers
  • tips for the process of designing and leveraging a virtual influencer
  • Sanofi case study


  1. In the first step, previous findings on the topic were collected and systematically processed by means of a literature and Internet analysis.
  2. Subsequently, a workshop was held with Sanofi to identify application scenarios and requirements for virtual influencers in corporate communications. Based on the results, the virtual influencer “Sam” was developed, who completes a pharmacy internship at Sanofi and informs followers about digitalization in the healthcare industry.
  3. Sam’s animated posts were published on Sanofi Germany’s Instagram page. The research report presents empirical values and recommendations resulting from the prototype implementation.