Watch: AI robot unleashed on pub locals to help launch TV series

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.

Tedroy Newell sits with an ultra-realistic humanoid robot version of himself. Picture: NOW TV
Tedroy Newell sits with an ultra-realistic humanoid robot version of himself. Picture: NOW TV

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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.

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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.”