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Ukrainian YouTuber Unveils AI Clone Selling Russian Goods on Chinese Sites

Several videos of foreign-looking ladies ,including Russian, created using artificial intelligence began to appear on Chinese social media sites earlier this month at the beginning of the lunar year, speaking Mandarin and spreading love for China.

Even the real-life ladies recognize themselves in the videos since their avatars are made from stolen, copied, and repurposed online photographs.

Olga Loiek is among them. She is a 20-year-old Ukrainian student from the University of Pennsylvania studying cognitive science. Loiek launched a YouTube channel a few months ago, where she discusses mental health and life philosophy.

However, she soon began receiving messages from fans claiming to have spotted her on Chinese social media. Furthermore, she is not Olga Loiek but a Russian woman who adores China, speaks Mandarin, and desires to marry a Chinese man. Depending on the Chinese social media site you visit, she identifies as Natasha, Anna, or Grace.

Deepfake: influencer from Ukraine slams AI clone generators that turned her Russian to sell goods on Chinese social media | South China Morning Post

She told VOA that when I began using Google Translate to translate the videos, I saw that most of these accounts discussed topics like China and Russia and their positive relationship. She thinks it is a severe violation.

The avatars in specific videos express how much they respect the close relations between China and Russia. In other films, they discuss how Russian women aspire to marry Chinese men or praise the good qualities of Chinese history and culture.

An avatar stated, “When you marry a Russian woman, we will cook for you, wash your clothes, and wash your dishes daily. We are also giving you as many foreign-born children as you desire.”

Videos on Douyin and Bilibili show Loiek’s character talking in Mandarin in several recordings. To purchase what they claim to be genuine Russian goods, most of these social media accounts would advise users to visit their websites to make purchases.

Douyin, China’s answer to TikTok, has flagged some of these films as possibly AI-generated. However, comments reveal that many people thought they were staring at a real woman. A netizen wrote: “Welcome to China, Russian beauty.”

Loiek would never say something like that because she is from Ukraine, a country in warfare with Russia since the year 2022.

She stated that this is most likely done to give the impression that people, possibly even those in China, think foreigners are superior to them.

Some AI videos featuring Loiek’s face on Bilibili, the largest video platform in China, are identified with the HeyGen logo, implying that the clip was created using the organization’s website.

The demonstrator also demonstrates how to create a brief HeyGen movie using footage of Loiek speaking in one of the tutorials on Bilibili.

In 2020, HeyGen, an AI startup headquartered in Los Angeles, debuted in China. Its areas of expertise include voice production, video translation, and lifelike virtual personalities.

In October 2023, AI videos featuring Donald Trump and Taylor Swift expressing flawless Mandarin went widespread on Chinese social media, thanks to the software created by HeyGen. The company is currently valued at 75 million dollars, according to Forbes.

According to HeyGen’s moderation guidelines, users cannot create avatars that portray real people, including celebrities or other public figures, without express permission. According to the official tutorial video from the company, to create an avatar, customers need to upload a video of themselves consenting to utilization. How some people in China managed to get around the necessity of creating Loiek videos is still being determined.

About twelve profiles copying Loiek have been removed, she claimed, after she and the rest of her YouTube subscribers complained to Chinese social media sites.

VOA requested comments from HeyGen and Douyin’s corporate business, ByteDance, but has yet to hear back.

Early in 2023, the Chinese government implemented regulations governing deep faking and other deep synthesis services. According to the law, deep fakes cannot be created without the permission of the individuals whose images or other data are used.

After Loiek uploaded her narrative to YouTube, it was circulated over Chinese social media. People on various media platforms expressed empathy for her and demanded stricter laws about AI.

Chinese internet behemoths like Tencent and Baidu are making significant investments in AI. Digital humans are among the AI-powered services that are the most anticipated.

For as little as $145, Tencent and Xiaoice, an AI startup in China that split from Microsoft, provide digital human services that allow users to clone themselves and create AI avatars.

Additionally, pro-China and anti-US messages have been published online by disinformation campaigns using AI avatars. Research company Graphika discovered in February 2023 that Beijing was being promoted on social media by using lifelike computer-generated characters in films.

The United States State Department issued a warning in a report in September 2023, stating that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) might be able to manipulate economic and security decisions to its advantage if it had access to global data and the most recent advancements in artificial intelligence technology.

Regarding Loiek, she has no intention of leaving YouTube or quitting her post.

She stated that we need some regulatory structure to understand and stop such events from happening.


Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff at AI Surge is a dedicated team of experts led by Paul Robins, boasting a combined experience of over 7 years in Computer Science, AI, emerging technologies, and online publishing. Our commitment is to bring you authoritative insights into the forefront of artificial intelligence.


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