Ukraine introduces AI-generated Foreign Ministry spokeswoman
05/03/2024 // Ramon Tomey // Views

The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has introduced its spokeswoman fully generated by artificial intelligence (AI).

The MFA introduced on May 1 Victoria Shi, a "digital person" set to make official statements on behalf of the ministry. The digital spokeswoman dressed in a dark suit gesticulates with her hands and moves her head as she speaks, as shown in a presentation posted on social media. Victoria's name is based on the English word "victory" and "shtuchniy intelekt," the Ukrainian term for AI.

According to the MFA, its use of Shi to read its statements was "the first time in history" a foreign affairs ministry did so. But the ministry clarified that the statements Shi would read would still be written by humans.

The MFA's press service also attested to this, telling Agence France-Presse that the digital spokeswoman's statements won't be generated by AI, but "written and verified by real people." It added: "It's only the visual part that the AI helps us to generate."

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba lauded Shi, describing the new digital spokeswoman as a "technological leap that no diplomatic service in the world has yet made." According to him, the main reason for creating the digital spokeswoman was to "save time and resources" for diplomats.

Shi was created by a team called The Game Changers, who have also created virtual reality content related to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. Her appearance and voice are modeled on a real person, an influencer named Rosalie Nombre. The singer formerly participated in the program "Holostyak," the Ukrainian version of "The Bachelor" reality show.

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Nombre, who was born in the eastern city of Donetsk now under Russian control, has 54,000 followers on her Instagram account. She uses her platform to discuss stereotypes about mixed-race Ukrainians and those who grew up as Russian speakers. According to the MFA, Nombre participated free of charge.

The ministry ultimately stressed that Shi and Nombre "are two different people," and that only the AI spokeswoman gives official statements. To avoid fakes, official MFA statements delivered by Shi will come with a QR code linking them to text versions on the ministry's website.

Ukraine suspends transgender military spokesperson in September

The introduction of Shi comes months after the Ukrainian military suspended Junior Sgt. Sarah Ashton-Cirillo as spokesperson of the Armed Forces of Ukraine's (AFU) Territorial Defense Forces (TDF) in September of last year.

The fiasco involving Ashton-Cirillo – a male-to-female (MTF) transgender – first broke out when he posted a video online on Sept. 13 warning that a "favorite Kremlin propagandist will pay for their crimes." The video's warning also extended to Russian propagandists, with the American-born MTF spokesperson saying they would be "hunted down" and that "justice will be served." (Related: Trans spox says Ukraine will hunt down "Russian propagandists" around the world.)

This led U.S. Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) to write a letter to U.S. officials two days after the video was published. In the Sept. 15 letter, he asked for information about whether Ashton-Cirillo is employed by the Ukrainian military and if he is being "compensated using American resources." Vance alleged in his letter that the TDF spokesperson threatened Russian propagandists with "physical violence."

But a week after Ashton-Cirillo posted the video, the TDF released a statement announcing that the spokesperson has been suspended pending the results of an investigation. The statement said Ashton-Cirillo's comments "in recent days were not approved by the command of the TDF or the command of the AFU."

Head over to for more stories about Ukraine.

Watch Del Bigtree discussing whether AI will put billions people out of work, including MFA staffers.

This video is from the Vigilent Citizen channel on

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