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CNBC: Putin quizzed by apparent AI version of himself during live phone-in

  |   By Polling+ Staff

Russian President Vladimir Putin holds his year-end press conference at Gostiny Dvor exhibition hall in central Moscow on December 14, 2023. (Photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

And a curious story for sure.

CNBC headlines:

Putin quizzed by apparent AI version of himself during live phone-in

CNBC reports:

“Russian President Vladimir Putin was asked a question by what appeared to be an AI-generated ‘deep fake’ of himself during a Q&A session with the public Thursday.

Putin held his annual phone-in with the Russian public, which was combined with his end-of-year press conference. It’s a closely followed event, but also a carefully orchestrated and curated affair, giving Russian citizens a chance to speak directly with the president on a range of issues.

‘Mr President, good afternoon, I am a student studying at St Petersburg Institute. Do you have a lot of twins? And another point, what is your attitude towards the dangers with neural networks and artificial intelligence?’ the AI questioner asked, according to a live NBC News translation.

The question was met with laughter from the watching crowd, and a brief pause from a stern-looking Putin.

‘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,’ Putin responded. 

The Kremlin recently dismissed long-standing speculation in the press and on social media that Putin uses body doubles at some events. Meanwhile, there is growing concern across the globe about the use of AI ‘deep fakes’ to spread misinformation.

‘Deepfake’ is a term used to describe an AI created image, sound or video of a real person. This tech is being used to spread false information by doctoring images or audio of political figures and celebs. 

Putin, like other world leaders, is attempting to position Russia as a frontrunner in AI technology at a time when countries around the world are vying for a leadership position.”

A “Deep Fake” world leader. One suspects this is not the last we will here of this.