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14 Dec, 2023 15:05

Putin answers question from ‘body double’

The Russian president dismissed rumors that he uses doppelgangers, during a live Q&A event, telling an audience he prefers to be one of a kind
Putin answers question from ‘body double’

There should only be one person who looks and speaks like Vladimir Putin, the Russian president said in response to a question from what appeared to be an AI replica of him during a live Q&A session on Thursday.

A person claiming to be “a student from St. Petersburg” used a nearly identical, computer-generated representation of Vladimir Putin to ask the president to comment on rumors that he uses body doubles. They also asked for his opinion on the dangers of artificial intelligence.

The president, who appeared surprised to be answering a question from a virtual clone of himself, said he prefers to be the one and only Putin.

You look like me, you speak using my voice. But I’ve given it some thought, and decided that there should be only one person who looks like me and uses my voice. And that person should be me. It was a joke by one of our political figures,” the president said. He described the AI replica of him as his “first double.

The Kremlin has repeatedly dismissed speculation by various media outlets such as The Mirror that the Russian president uses body doubles, with presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov ridiculing such claims as “absurd information hogwash.”

As for the dangers of AI and whether it should be feared, Putin said it was impossible to stop the development of such technology or prevent the creation of artificial super intelligence that could learn to feel, distinguish odors, and gain cognitive functions. 

Since it is impossible to prevent, Russia must become the leader in this technology, or at least do everything within its power to be one of the global leaders in this direction, said Putin.

However, it’s impossible to predict how this will end, the president admitted. He noted that while it is important to discuss restrictions and regulations regarding the development of AI so it doesn’t become a danger to humanity, any agreements between technology leaders would be difficult until this technology starts posing an actual threat.