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Main Diplomacy — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has introduced a digital persona for consular matters named Victoria Shi (AI)

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has introduced a digital persona for consular matters named Victoria Shi (AI)

01 May, 2024
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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has introduced a digital persona for consular matters named Victoria Shi (AI)

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has created a digital persona for the first time in history using artificial intelligence technology, which will officially comment on consular information for the media.

The representative of the MFA on consular issues, Victoria Shi, was created based on a real person—Ukrainian singer and influencer Rozali Nombre, who agreed to participate in the MFA project pro bono and act as a prototype for the representative. The project team filmed and digitized her. It is important to note that the consular representative and her real prototype are two different individuals, and only the digital persona Victoria Shi speaks with official comments on behalf of the consular service of the MFA.

"My name symbolizes our main goal—Ukraine's victory, and the surname represents artificial intelligence, which created me. My job will be to deliver timely and verified information from the consular department of the MFA of Ukraine to the public. I will inform journalists about the work of consuls in protecting the rights and interests of Ukrainian citizens abroad, responding to incidents or emergencies, and other news," said the MFA representative on consular issues Victoria Shi in her welcoming video address.

Victoria Shi's comments will appear on the official resources of the MFA of Ukraine, website, social media pages, and will also be transmitted to journalists by the MFA press service.

"The use of an AI-generated digital persona for consular commentary is primarily a time and resource-saving measure for the MFA. Real diplomats will be able to be more effective and focus on other tasks of assisting citizens," said Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba.

The minister also emphasized that the active use of artificial intelligence technologies in the work of the MFA is not a whim but a necessity of wartime. Because in order to achieve the necessary results for the country, it is necessary to speed up all processes and stay one step ahead.

"The creation of a digital consular representative is part of a broader strategy for the systematic implementation of advanced technologies using artificial intelligence in the MFA of Ukraine. Diplomacy has always been a conservative sphere, not only in Ukraine but also worldwide, which has been slow to adopt innovations. We are changing that. Ukrainian diplomacy is now enhancing its capabilities and making a technological leap that no diplomatic service in the world has done before," added the minister.

It is important to note that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also provided several levels of protection for Victoria Shi from digital forgeries. Each original video of the consular representative contains a QR code leading to the text version of the same comment on the official MFA page. In case of absence of such a QR code or redirection to any other website, the video is not considered authentic. In addition, the consular representative is not a replacement for the spokesperson of the MFA of Ukraine.

After the term of Oleg Nikolenko's tenure in this position ended, the MFA has already conducted a competition to fill this vacancy. Its winner has already been determined and is undergoing necessary special checks. The project of the consular AI representative of the MFA of Ukraine was implemented by the NGO "The Game Changers" team with the support of the NGO "Nazovni Tech."

Earlier, thanks to the partnership with the NGO "The Game Changers," a successful VR project of the MFA of Ukraine "Living the War" was created, which, using virtual reality glasses, immerses foreigners anywhere in the world into the reality of Russian aggression against Ukraine and helps consolidate support for our state abroad. We are grateful to our partners from the NGO "The Game Changers" and the NGO "Nazovni Tech" for their joint work on increasing the efficiency of Ukrainian diplomacy.

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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