News presenters in Russia had a new co-host this week, in the form of a robot.
The robot, called ‘Alex’ appeared on Russian state news channel, Rossiya 24, and caused quite the stir.
While some viewers were creeped out by his appearance, others accused the robot of peddling political propaganda.
Alex spoke about various topics on the news channel, including nuclear technology, micro-finance and agriculture.
He also presented a controversial segment about activist Ilya Yashin, which many viewers were unimpressed with.
Several viewers took to twitter to discuss Alex.
One viewer said: “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.”
Another joked: “Alex, if they are holding you hostage and force you to drink alcohol, wink three times when you go on the air!”
‘Alex’ was developed by tech firm Promobot, whose co-founder, Alexei Yuzhakov, lent his name to the robot.
The current version can only move his face, although Promobot believes he’ll also be able to move his limbs in the future.
However, Alex wasn’t cheap. According to Promobot, Alex cost around Sh1.6 million to develop.
This isn’t the first time that a robot has tried its hand at TV presenting.
Back in 2017, humanoid robot Sophia appeared on Australia’s ABC News Breakfast.