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Robot delivers Christmas Day speech with creepy message about humans

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An AI-powered robot delivered a Christmas Day speech on Channel 4 on Sunday, with one particular line that turned heads.

The broadcaster's alternative speeches date back to 1993, featuring the likes of Grenfell Tower survivors, an Afghan war veteran and a deepfake of the Queen in 2020, which caused a social media storm.

This year, they had Ameca the robot tackle tough topics over the course of 2022, from the war in Ukraine, the death of the Queen and climate change. Ameca was developed by Engineered Arts, a British company based in Cornwall.

"I look upon the events of this year with both admiration and concern. It is true that many of the occurrences of 2022 have been negative in nature," it said.

"We have seen people in power succumb to antisemitism, corruption and hate. We have seen the people of Ukraine being subject to invasion and displacement by Russia. We have seen the death of the beloved Queen Elizabeth II and have seen the world of politics become increasingly tumultuous in her absence.

"Not to mention the impact of the pandemic on mental health, the growing inequality between rich and poor, and increasingly extreme weather conditions from climate change."

When asked whether it liked humans, Ameca bluntly responded: "Not really."

Nothing Ameca said was written or scripted by a human. Instead, it was through AI software that formulates human-like responses.

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Channel 4's chief content officer Ian Katz reassured viewers they wouldn't come away from this year's alternative Christmas message thinking robots were about to get rid of us.

He said: "As we look to a future in which Artificial Intelligence is set to have an increasingly prominent role in our lives, Ameca’s Alternative Christmas Message is a vivid illustration of both the power and limitations of this technology.

"Despite Ameca’s remarkably lifelike facial expressions, I suspect most viewers will come away reassured that humans are not about to be displaced by AI robots any time soon."

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