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Ukraine gets a spokesperson generated by artificial intelligence

The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Wednesday that a spokesperson generated by artificial intelligence (AI) would now be responsible for commenting on consular affairs by reading texts which must nevertheless still be written by humans.

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Ukraine gets a spokesperson generated by artificial intelligence

The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Wednesday that a spokesperson generated by artificial intelligence (AI) would now be responsible for commenting on consular affairs by reading texts which must nevertheless still be written by humans. “For the first time in history, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has created a digital personality using artificial intelligence technologies to officially comment on consular information intended for the media,” the institution said.

This avatar responds to the name of Victoria Shi, a first name which evokes the “victory” of her country in the war against the Russian invasion and a last name which simply means “AI” in Ukrainian. “I’m a digital person. This means that the text you hear was not read by a real person. This was created by artificial intelligence,” said the new spokesperson, who has the features of a young mixed-race woman, in her first video on YouTube. The press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, however, told AFP that the press releases would be “written and verified by real people”. “Artificial intelligence only helps us generate the visual part,” he explained.

His future statements will be published online and made available to journalists. The ministry noted that it would not replace its official spokesperson, the very real one, and would only handle consular matters. The ministry assured that it had put in place measures to prevent the spread of false statements from its spokesperson, in particular a QR code intended to prove the authenticity of the videos.

The choice of an AI-generated spokesperson also aims to “save the ministry’s time and resources,” said the head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmytro Kouleba. “Real diplomats will be able to be more efficient and concentrate on other tasks,” he said. Victoria Shi borrowed her appearance from Ukrainian singer and influencer Rosalie Numéro, a former contestant on the Ukrainian edition of the reality TV show “The Bachelor,” born in Donetsk, a large city in the east occupied by Russia.

Also read Jean-Pierre Robin: “Bread and circuses, what will we do with our days when AI does everything for us?”

AI, a growing technology, has become essential in recent years. But its high-speed development also raises ethical questions in many areas. Journalism is no exception and the use of AI-generated content is debated in newsrooms.

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