Streaming service NOW TV have stirred up interest in the new series of hit show Westworld by having an artificially intelligent human-like robot interact with punters in a London pub.
It took twelve weeks to develop ‘Fred the Robot’, modelled on 55-year-old Tedroy Newell, as engineers from robotics company Engineered Arts put together the AI using a sophisticated metal skeleton, silicone skin, real hair and solid acrylic eyes.
They then planted hidden cameras in a London pub and put Fred into the heart of it to conversate with the locals.
Reactions from pub-goers ranged from startled confusion to fear and unease as they digested a series of weighty questions including ‘what are your thoughts on the impending humanoid robot invasion?’, and laid witness to a scheduled malfunction in which Fred starts to glitch before dramatically shattering a pint glass.
Emma Quartly, marketing director at NOW TV, said: “We are still a long way away from creating artificially intelligent hosts as sophisticated as those in Westworld, but to celebrate the show’s return we wanted to give the general public a little taste of what is possible.”