Web Viewers Fooled by Animation, Costumed Man

From a talking “robot” on Russian TV to a walking robot on the internet⏤social media has been scammed recently with representations of AI-based life in robot form, but savvy observers have called out the hoaxes.

One such tale unraveled on The Rossiva 24-hour news channel, as reported by the UK-based Sky News. The Russian station featured “Boris the Robot” on a video. According to viewers, the man who introduced Boris stated:

“At the forum there’s the opportunity to see state-of-the-art robots. Boris the Robot has already learned to dance, and not badly at that.”

Boris was singing, talking and dancing for the cameras, while his metallic voice and colored flashing lights entertained. Boris said in a metallic voice, “I’m good at maths, but now I want to study art and musical composition.”

People were questioning whether the Russians managed to one-up the United States, as they did in the era of Sputnik. Boris, however, turned out to be a man in a robot suit.

Not only was the robot suit sloppy and ill-fitting, showing gaps where pieces fit together, but it only took a few minutes before assorted Bloggers found the Robot Show website, where the suit, exactly like Boris’s, can be purchased. The clip of the Robot Show faux pas went viral. Then management at Rossiva, found and interviewed the guy that produced the original video of Fake Boris.

Viewers questioned whether the robot was genuine because of the way it moved, too, according to a story in Newsweek. The “robot” was too flexible.

Another so-called intelligent robot was found to be an animated clip from a short film called “Adam.” Gizmodo reported on a Twitter freak-out by an observer who stumbled across the video and reposted it.

Once people became aware it wasn’t a real, functioning robot, they calmed down and stopped reposting it as a sign of human doom.