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Putin vs Putin: When Russian president contronted ‘AI double’. Watch video | World News


Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday appeared briefly lost for words after he came across an artificial intelligence-generated version of himself.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) during his annual news conference.(RT)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) during his annual news conference.(RT)

The incident took place during an annual news conference where dozens of callers from around the country were connected with Putin by a video link.

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The “AI-double” took the opportunity to ask the Russian president about his thoughts on artificial intelligence.

“Vladimir Vladimirovich, hello, I am a student at St Petersburg State University. I want to ask, is it true you have a lot of doubles?” the double asked, prompting laughter among the audience. “And also: How do you view the dangers that artificial intelligence and neural networks bring into our lives?”

The question prompted a rare hesitation from Putin, who was already in his fourth hour of taking questions at the marathon event, according to Reuters.

“I see you may resemble me and speak with my voice. But I have thought about it and decided that only one person must be like me and speak with my voice, and that will be me,” the Russian president said.

Further, after an afterthought, Putin added: “That is my first double, by the way.”

There has been recurrent speculation, particularly in Western media, that Putin has one or more body doubles to cover for him in some public appearances because of alleged health problems.

In August 2022, Ukrainian military intelligence chief Major General Kyrylo Budanov had claimed that Vladimir Putin’s ears looked different in several of his public appearances.

The Kremlin has rejected the allegations of using anybody double. They have also maintained the Russian president’s health is excellent.

In a 2020 interview, Putin himself denied longstanding rumours that he uses a body double but said he had been offered the chance to use one in the past for security reasons.


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