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Doppelganger or deepfake? Elon Musk’s Chinese lookalike splits the internet


Thanks to social media, finding a celebrity lookalike halfway around the world has become an easy task. Currently, a video of Elon Musk’s lookalike from China is making waves on the internet. However, not everyone is convinced.

Originally uploaded to Douyin, the Chinese TikTok app, the viral clip showed a man in a black jacket standing next to a car, mimicking Tesla’s CEO.

The double, who proclaimed himself “Chinese Elon Musk”, left Internet users in a frenzy. The video and screenshot of the clip quickly went viral on other platforms as well and a debate ensued.

While many were in awe of the strange resemblance and dubbed the Chinese man as “Yi Long Musk” as a joke, others questioned the authenticity of the video, arguing that there was a good chance that it is false.

“It’s a deep fake. There is a little problem when he speaks while the camera is panning; it’s in the eyes and the mouth looks retarded, ”said one user in the Facebook comments. “May I ask him which virtual currency I’m going to buy next time,” another jokingly wrote.

As the debate continued, many even tagged Musk for seeing his ‘lookalike’, however, the world’s richest man, known for his unconventional sense of humor, did not respond to the posts.

For the uninitiated, with the help of the Deepfake app, it is possible that an existing image or video will be replaced with someone else’s likeness, making it almost impossible to detect at first glance, by leveraging the powerful techniques of machine learning and artificial intelligence to manipulate or generate visual and audio content. In the recent past, the technique has been used in celebrity porn videos, revenge porn, fake news, hoaxes, financial frauds, and even political campaigns.

If transformed, this isn’t the first time Time Person of the Year’s deepfake video has gone viral. In February 2020, a video of Jeff Bezos and CEO of SpaceX in the Star Trek universe broke the internet.