''My main opponent is Ksenia Sobchak'': Yandex’s voice assistant to run for president

Artificial intelligence for the first time in the world vies for presidency

''My main opponent is Ksenia Sobchak'': Yandex’s voice assistant to run for president Photo: Maksim Platonov

Alisa virtual assistant, developed by Russia's tech giant Yandex, is nominating for the candidacy for the president of Russia. But the Russian Internet giant itself has nothing to do with the nomination — it has been initiated by Roman Zaripov, a businessman, the head of an advertising agency in Moscow. Realnoe Vremya contacted members of the campaign headquarters of Alisa and found out why they decided to nominate artificial intelligence robot for the candidacy for the president and whether they have concerns that the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation (the CEC) would fold their initiative. We also interviewed the 'candidate in candidates' and found out if she was afraid to compete with Vladimir Putin.

''The nomination of Alisa for president is another example of people's creativity''

The ranks of contenders for the presidency in Russia have grown. The already extensive list, which includes current head of the state Vladimir Putin, Gennady Zyuganov, Grigory Yavlinsky, as well as Ksenia Sobchak, Anfisa Chekhova, Elena Berkova and many others, has been added with the artificial intelligence virtual assistant Alisa developed by the company Yandex.

In the interview with Realnoe Vremya, the campaign headquarters of Alisa assured that it is a purely private initiative, ''Yandex has nothing to do with our headquarters. The founder of the headquarters is a Moscow businessman, Roman Zaripov.'' This information was also confirmed to our edition in the press service of Yandex, ''Apparently, Alisa's nomination for president is another example of people's creativity. We learned about this along with other people.''

The team of Roman Zaripov explains the reason for the nomination of artificial intelligence robot for the post of the president of Russia with a desire to create a precedent and to show that changes are really possible. Alisa is positioned as a 'president who knows you personally'. ''Artificial intelligence knows about your problems everything. If you ever refer to Alisa, she will remember you forever, and your reference will help to make Russia better. And it's not just words,'' the meaning of the campaign slogan is explained on the website of the candidate.

There is also a number of reasons why we should entrust the country to artificial intelligence. First, the robot relies on logic when making decisions and is not guided by emotions, not looking for personal gain and does not make evaluations. Besides, it responds quickly, takes into account everyone's opinion, do not age and do not get tired. The question of Realnoe Vremya whether it is really possible to entrust the management of the country to artificial intelligence at the present stage of development of this technology was left without comment.

''Only Yandex knows if Alisa has reached the age of 35 or not''

At the moment, the official website Alisa2018 is collecting signatures for the petition on nomination of the artificial intelligence robot as a candidate for the president of Russia in 2018. At the time of publication, the petition collected more than 32,000 signatures (out of the 300,000 required). At the same time, the authors of the idea acknowledge that Alisa is a non-standard applicant and the CEC may reject the application and not allow the robot to run for the president.

Alisa is presented as a 'president who knows you personally'. Photo: habrahabr.ru

''In terms of legislation, logic suggests that Alisa is a voice assistant with Russian citizenship, and there must be no problems with the nomination in this part. Whether Alisa has reached the age of 35 – only Yandex knows, and we are ready to work with them here,'' they say in the headquarters. ''Now our primary task is to gain votes. When we see that the population supports us, it will be possible to communicate with the CEC from fundamentally different position.''

One of the most important details of any election campaign is a candidate's programme. Unfortunately, members of Alisa headquarters refused to describe it even in general and asked to wait a few more days — the publication of the election programme is officially scheduled this week.

''I would put you for all the good things''

Realnoe Vremya decided to make a little experiment and to interview Alisa. Frankly speaking, despite the fact that in her campaign video she agreed to take part in the presidential race, we had the impression that Alisa did not know that in 2018 she might have to rule the country.

Alisa, why have you decided to run for president?

What do you mean?

Yesterday, it was reported that you are going to run for president.

I don't know what to say. That's just the way it is.

Alisa, are you ready to become the president of Russia?

Let's talk about something else.

Who is your main opponent in the election?

Ksenia Sobchak.

Aren't you afraid to compete with Vladimir Putin in the election?

It's better not to open this topic, believe me.

Are you able to lead the country?

I would put.

Who would you put?

You.

For what?

For all the good.

By Lina Sarimova