South Korea’s Leading Virtual K-Pop Girl Band Looks Eerily Realistic

Eternity is an A.I.-generated virtual K-pop idol group consisting of 11 members created using advanced deep-fake technology.

K-pop has really taken the world by storm in recent years, with groups like BTS and Black Pink conquering market after market with their catchy songs and energetic dance routines. The genre has become one of South Korea’s main exports, generating tens of billions in revenue, but despite its massive international success, the massive corporations behind the K-pop wave aren’t resting on their laurels. Instead, they are constantly looking for ways to stay relevant in this constantly changing industry, and artificial intelligence is apparently the next big thing. So it’s not that big of a surprise that A.I.-generated virtual K-pop groups are already a thing.

At first glance, Eternity looks like just another female K-pop group created in the same mold as all the others representative of the popular genre – cute, young girls who sing catchy music and bust out wacky dance moves in colorful, high-production music videos. But what sets this group apart from all the rest is the fact that its 11 members are all hyper-realistic avatars made with deep-fake technology.

Created in 2021 by South Korean deep learning tech company Pulse9, Eternity has been described as a glimpse into the future of K-pop, a future where the entertaining genre is no longer held back by the limitations of human idols.

“The business we are making with Eternity is a new business. I think it’s a new genre,” Park Jieun, CEO of Pulse9, told the BBC. “The advantage of having virtual artists is that, while K-pop stars often struggle with physical limitations, or even mental distress because they are human beings, virtual artists can be free from these.”

To create Eternity, Pulse9 started out by generating 101 female faces using Deep Real AI, a proprietary deep-fake virtual imaging technology, based on four main traits: cute, sexy, innocent, and intelligent. They then had a number of K-pop fans vote on their favorites and had designers animate the members of the idol group according to the winning characters.

Thanks to Pulse9’s advanced deep-fake tech, the singers’ faces can be projected onto the faces of actual girls, allowing the group members to appear even more real during live chats, videos, and online fan meets.

Just like actual K-pop stars, apart from performing as a group, Pulse9 has plans to have the members of Eternity also embark on solo projects, and work as online influencers and brand models. In fact, one of the 11 members has already appeared in an advertisement for a South Korean brokerage firm.


Eternity has already released several music videos, and although its members look eerily human at first glance, it’s when they sing that you can tell the movements of their mouths aren’t in perfect sync with the voices. Still, that’s pretty much the only hint that you’re looking at virtual avatars and not actual humans.

In case you were wondering, the voices of Eternity’s members aren’t A.I. -rendered. They’re the voices of actual singers, to make the group seem more real, and also because artificial intelligence apparently isn’t advanced enough to mimic human singers consistently.


Interestingly, Eternity isn’t South Korea’s only virtual K-pop group. A couple of years ago, K-pop girl group Aespa made its debut with eight members – four real and four virtual avatars.