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Ukrainian YouTuber spots AI clones of herself selling Russian goods to China


Olga Loiek, a Ukrainian YouTuber, noticed artificial intelligence replicas of herself promoting Russian merchandise on Chinese social media platforms.

During her free time, 20-year-old Olga Loiek, who studies cognitive science at the University of Pennsylvania, creates YouTube content addressing mental health topics and sharing her perspectives on various issues. Shortly after launching her channel, her followers began reporting sightings of her on other social media platforms.

On these platforms, she was portrayed not as the Ukrainian Olga but as a Russian woman fluent in Mandarin, passionate about China, and keen on marrying a Chinese man. This Russian version of Olga is known by different names like Natasha, Anna, or Grace, depending on the platform where she appears.

However, this alternate persona has no connection to Olga herself. It is actually an AI-generated duplicate created using her image and used without her authorization.

AI Replicas Employed for Marketing Purposes

In various videos, these replicas are shown promoting Russian goods in China or endorsing the diplomatic relationship between Russia and China. Some videos focus on praising Chinese history and culture or discussing Russian men’s interest in marrying Chinese women, along with her own desire to marry a Chinese man.

One avatar even stated, “If you marry a Russian woman, we will do your laundry, cooking, and dishwashing every day. We will also have international babies for you, as many as you want.”

Given that Olga is Ukrainian and given the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, she shared her feelings of violation in an interview with Voice of America (VOA).

“As I started translating the videos with Google Translate, I realized that most of these accounts discuss topics related to China and Russia, emphasizing the positive relationship between the two countries,” she expressed. “This whole situation feels extremely violating.”

She added, “This tactic is likely employed to convey to Chinese audiences that foreigners view their nation as superior.”

Upon lodging complaints with Chinese social media platforms such as HeyGen and Douyin, some videos were removed. However, this incident highlights a broader issue concerning the absence of safeguards to prevent the misuse of individuals’ images for generative AI applications. Recent research indicates that AI-generated faces are often more believable than actual faces, increasing the risk of people mistaking such content for reality.

Featured image: Olga Loiek

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