June 22, 2024

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Putin's appearance in New Year's speech sparks feverish speculation

Putin's appearance in New Year's speech sparks feverish speculation

The medium, not the message, of Vladimir Putin's New Year's address sparked comments from social media users who wondered whether the Russian leader's annual address might get some digital help.

The speech is a staple of holiday celebrations in Russia, and is seen across the country. The president's televised New Year's Eve speech is a tradition started by former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, and is broadcast before midnight in each of Russia's 11 time zones.

Putin said in his speech on Sunday that “we are capable of solving the most difficult problems” and that “no force can divide us.” Shortly after the speech, there were suggestions online that there was something disconnected from reality about his appearance.

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers his traditional televised New Year's address to the people of Russia in Moscow on December 31, 2023. His appearance sparked speculation among social media users about whether he was created by artificial intelligence.
Gavril Grigorov

“Putin's New Year's greeting was apparently generated by artificial intelligence,” Mykhailo Golub posted on His body.

“Look at his neck) He's not even wearing a suit, what is this? Too lazy to wear a suit? Or a neural network?” user RASSEL wrote in a post shared by pro-Ukrainian Estonian user Regina Bauer. The speech “sounds like… an AI/green screen from the basement,” Bauer wrote.

The posts appeared to be mild criticism of Putin, and there is no evidence that Putin did not deliver the speech himself. Newsweek The Kremlin has been contacted for comment via email.

However, in one of the more surreal moments of the annual televised Q&A with the Nation in December, the Russian leader addressed an artificial intelligence version of himself created by a student in St. Petersburg.

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Putin's image and voice asked the real Russian leader whether he has many twins, as reported in Western media, and about his position on developments in the field of artificial intelligence.

The real Putin replied: “You can talk to me and use my voice and my tone, but I thought only one person could talk like me, and that would be me.”

Putin did not mention the war in Ukraine directly although he praised the Russian military and called for “unity” in his speech against the backdrop of the Kremlin, unlike last year when he was surrounded by soldiers.

Putin said on Sunday that Russia was “steadfast in defending national interests, our freedom, security and values” and that “working for the common good united society.” Putin announced that he will run for another presidential term in March in an election that he is widely expected to win and could remain in power until 2036.