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Russia Develops Robot To Read The News Live On TV

Rossiya 24, a  Russian state news channel has introduced a robot presenter for some of its bulletins.


The robot, ‘Alex’ has already caused a stir, with some viewers complaining about its appearance. There are also accusations of him peddling political propaganda.


Promobot co-founder Alexei Yuzhakov (left) shows off Alex the robot


Perm City-based Promobot is responsible for the development of the robot. Its silicon head is a replica of the face of the company’s co-founder Alexei Yuzhakov.


The robot can only move its facial features and neck for now. The final product, however, will have fully mobile limbs too.

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Production Of The Robot Began In 2017

Promobot says Alex had cost more than one million roubles ($15,600) to develop. It also says that it has received orders for 12 more humanoids.


Rossiya 24 says its newest presenter was of Russian origin with “software and almost all of its components produced inside the country”.


Alex has done some bulletins for the channel, presenting news bulletins about agriculture, a nuclear technology forum, and micro-finance.


“I should note that at a technological innovations exhibition, the main hero was me, robot Alex,” it said, with a smile, while presenting a news piece about an artificial intelligence conference in Moscow.


But an item that appeared to be a smear campaign against opposition activist Ilya Yashin was criticised.


“Meet Rossiya 24’s new anchor, robot Alex. Artificial intelligence, a talent for propaganda and an integrated fake news generator is available right in your box,” a viewer said on Twitter.


Some others mocked Alex’s slightly rough appearance and clothes, his off-focus gaze, and awkward facial expressions.


“Alex, if they are holding you hostage and force you to drink alcohol, wink three times when you go on the air!” mocked a viewer online.


There are some positive comments, however. A viewer said he was a “very nice robot” while yet another said his deployment was “an interesting trend”.


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Kolawole Awolope

Passionate about talking, passionate about talking tech.

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