Robot Reporter Causes Controversy

Robot Reporter Causes Controversy

Recently the Russian news channel known as Rossiya 24 has introduced to its large audience a very interesting addition to its usual cast of anchors. This new reporter just so happens to be a robot. The bots face is modeled after Alexei Yuzhakov who is the co-founder of the company that built him, Promobot, who are situated in the city of Perm. Not everyone is happy with this robot reporter though.

Robot Reporter Does Not Cost A Fortune

The robot is not yet complete despite already being very impressive, currently, it can only move its face and neck but if the development goes smoothly it should soon be able to move its entire body effectively. Production has gone very quickly, Promobot started development back in 2017 and the robot is predicted to be done by the end of this year. The bot was relatively cheap too, only costing 15,600 dollars, a good price for this type of innovation. Promobot state that they have also received 12 more orders for this type of humanoid robot, which they will likely be developing in the near future.

Rossiya 24 have shown much pride reportedly in the fact that the robot is fully Russian and all production was carried out on Russian soil. Astoundingly Alex (the bots name) has been regularly handling news reports such as talk of agriculture and nuclear technology, which must be a somewhat surreal thing to watch for viewers of the news channel. “I should note that at a technological innovations exhibition, the main hero was me, robot Alex” the robot seemingly jokingly said at a conference about artificial intelligence in Moscow.

Despite the bot’s introduction mainly being well received, there are a group of people who are heavily against it for a number of reasons. Much opposition of the new robot state that it is simply a way of spreading propaganda and the news channels beliefs through the novelty of a robot reporter. Some less appreciative viewers have even criticized the bots facial expressions and appearance, stating that they find it distracting to watch and would much prefer a more put together looking human.

All in all the majority of people have received Alex very well but also are open with the fact that they believe that he is likely just a temporary rating booster for the show and a bit of novelty fun, obviously some are irritated by this and would rather just get on with their regular programming and news intake. Even with the two differing opinions, it’s undeniable that the robot reporter is an impressive bit of robot engineering and Promobot definitely deserves some recognition. Some people criticize Alex’s clumsiness but at the end of the day, there are a very small amount of robots well developed enough to report the news on live television. Whether Rossiya 24 will eventually replace the bot with a human reporter and return to normal again is yet to be seen, perhaps they’ve started a trend?

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