Statements from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding Ukrainians abroad will now be voiced by the AI avatar Victoria

Olha Bereziuk

From April 19, all official statements of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs concerning Ukrainians abroad will be voiced by the product of artificial intelligence — the avatar Victoria. AI will speak English and Ukrainian.

Forbes writes about this with reference to a source in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The interlocutor noted that during high-profile events (for example, the capture of Ukrainian sailors by pirates or road accidents abroad involving Ukrainian citizens), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs receives dozens of requests for inclusion within an hour.

Previously, such events were commented on by the consular spokesperson, later these duties were transferred to the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on all issues. The use of AI can relieve the burden of a live spokesperson, who will instead continue to communicate with the media in an interview format.

A special QR code will be added to the video with Victoria, which will direct people to the official page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the statement. This is necessary to avoid the spread of fakes.

The public union Nazovni Tech in cooperation with the NGO The Game Changers was engaged in the development of the avatar for about a month. According to Roman Lansky, co-founder of the GovTech company Strimco, such work could cost $5,000 to $10,000. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasized that sponsors, not the state, paid for the development.

The avatar was made on the basis of a real person, who was photographed during the reading of the texts. Filming lasted several weeks, and the model for the AI avatar worked for free, on a voluntary basis.

The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, said that starting in February 2024, the department uses neural networks to voice official appeals on the departmentʼs pages in the X social network in French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Arabic.

The ministry also started the development of an AI simulator. They plan to load the latest statements of foreign representatives into the model in order to train young Ukrainian diplomats and prepare experienced ones for negotiations, says Forbesʼ interlocutor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The ministry also plans to delegate to artificial intelligence the preparation of certificates on relations with the country where the embassy is opened.