Meet Yilong Ma, who markets himself as the "Chinese Elon Musk." Ma, whose resemblance to Elon Musk is quite remarkable, began going viral on social media in November 2020. He posts videos of himself dressed as Elon, dancing like Elon, and praising X, Tesla, and Dogecoin like Elon. His TikTok currently has one million followers and 22.4 million likes. He's even captured the attention of the real Elon Musk on more than one occasion.
However, nobody really knows whether Ma really looks like Elon or if the whole thing is a long-running deepfake. Business Insider wrote on August 7, 2023:
"Still don't know if real or AI-generated," Musk wrote on Monday morning.
This is not the first time Musk has wondered aloud about whether his Chinese doppelgänger could be a real person and not an AI deepfake.
"I'd like to meet this guy (if he is real). Hard to tell with deepfakes these days," Musk said in his tweet in May 2022.
To try to get some answers, YouTuber Xiaoma contacted Yilong Ma earlier this year, who was happy to do a virtual interview. In the interview, Yilong Ma talks about his love for Elon Musk, his beliefs that AI is good and that Neuralink will cure all disease, and his desire to meet Elon in person. During the interview, Xiaoma, the host, states that he really can't figure out whether Yilong is a deepfake or not, but states that if it *is* a deepfake, it's quite impressive. Xiaoma describes the interview:
You may have seen a Chinese man going viral on TikTok and other places for looking remarkably like Elon Musk. He's attracted quite a bit of international media coverage with even Elon Musk himself saying he'd be willing to meet his doppelgänger, provided he isn't an AI deepfake. And that seems to be the question that a lot of people have. I wanted to get to the bottom of this, so I reached out to him, and this is the first interview he's ever granted to anybody, so I'm really excited to find out what Yilong Ma is all about.
After watching the interview and lots of Yilong Ma's TikTok videos, I really don't have a clue what the truth is. Whether real or deepfake, it all kind of creeps me out.
To see more, check out Yilong Ma's TikTok.