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‘Ageless, objective & logical’: Russian AI chatbot’s presidential bid gets 20,000+ supporters

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    The 2018 Russian presidential run is about to get interesting, as more than 23,000 people have already supported a peculiar bid to rival Vladimir Putin. Russian AI chatbot Alice knows each voter “personally” and has “no weak sides,” its campaign claims.

    “The president, that personally knows you,” reads the website, promoting Alice’s bid for the country’s top job. The “unconventional candidate” boasts at least six major advantages over other contenders, led “by emotions and instincts,” Alice’s camp states.

    ‘Yes, I will’: Vladimir Putin announces run for re-election in 2018

    Russian search giant Yandex’s virtual assistant relies solely on “logic” and takes rational decisions fast, as it “instantly” processes information. To reach Alice for comment, “you only need to open the app and ask a question.” The potential candidate also knows “everything about your problems” and “takes each opinion into consideration.” The chatbot does not age or gets tired, the campaign points out.

    “I had solved problems even bigger,” Alice says, when asked whether she could rule the world’s biggest country in the campaign’s promo clip. Alice’s candidacy, according to the press release, would form a political system “of the future, built wholly on rational decisions made by strict algorithms.”

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    Despite Alice’s numerous virtues, Russia’s Central Election Committee may find a number of good reasons to decline the bid and prevent the robot from joining the presidential race. Still, its developers urge those “believing in technology” to sign the petition in order to get 300,000 signatures needed to register as a candidate.

    So far, the forthcoming Russian election has only seen “biological creatures” voicing their intentions for presidency: Vladimir Putin, Liberal-Democratic Party head Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the Communist Party’s Gennady Zyuganov, the liberal Yabloko party’s Grigory Yavlinsky, business ombudsman Boris Titov, opposition activist Aleksey Navalny, as well as well as two women – showbiz celebrity Ksenia Sobchak and journalist Ekaterina Gordon. And while “both genders have their strong and weak sides,” the artificial intelligence “has none,” Alice’s campaign claims.

    Meanwhile, Yandex believes the campaign is “another example of popular initiative,” the company’s spokesman told Vedomosti. While denying being behind the PR move, Yandex however is not planning going to block the activists’ website. 

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