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A 'malfunctioning' robot named Fred has terrified drinkers in a London pub by smashing a pint glass while talking about a 'robot invasion'.

The hyper-realistic automaton, modelled to be an exact replica of London-based actor Tedroy Newell, sat down for a refreshing lager at The Prince Alfred pub in Maida Vale, in the west of the capital.

Unsuspecting customers were unprepared for what came next, with the humanoid berating locals before crushing the drinking vessel in his hands.

Hyper-realistic robot that is ’indistinguishable from humans’ startles punters at a London pub by smashing a glass while talking about a machine invasion


Fred was built by engineers from robotics company Engineered Arts

They recreated 3D-scanned details taken from 55-year-old Tedroy Newell

To field test the robot a London pub was rigged with hidden cameras

The automaton struck up conversations with unsuspecting members of the public before crushing the glass as part of a stunt to promote Westworld

By Tim Collins For Mailonline
18 April 2018

A 'malfunctioning' robot named Fred has terrified drinkers in a London pub by smashing a pint glass while talking about a 'robot invasion'.

The hyper-realistic automaton, modelled to be an exact replica of London-based actor Tedroy Newell, sat down for a refreshing lager at The Prince Alfred pub in Maida Vale, in the west of the capital.

Unsuspecting customers were unprepared for what came next, with the humanoid berating locals before crushing the drinking vessel in his hands.

The robot, described as 'indistinguishable from humans', was created as part of a stunt to promote TV Series Westworld.


A 'malfunctioning' robot has terrified shocked drinkers in a London pub, by smashing a pint glass and talking about a 'robot invasion'. The life like automaton (right), modelled to be an exact replica of actor Tedroy Newell, 55 (left)

Fred the Robot was built by five engineers from robotics company Engineered Arts, based in Penryn, Cornwall, over twelve weeks.

The team developed several hundred thousand lines of computer code and tens of thousands of components, including a sophisticated metal skeleton, silicone skin, real hair and solid acrylic eyes - all 3D-scanned from Tedroy to bring Fred to life.

To field test Fred, the London pub was rigged with hidden cameras and Fred was planted in the bar to see if he could beguile the public.

Relaxed in the bar, the android struck up conversations with members of the public.

Reactions 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?’

They were then witness to a scheduled 'malfunction', in which Fred began to glitch before dramatically shattering the pint glass.


Unsuspecting customers were unprepared for the Westworld stunt, with the humanoid berating locals before crushing the drinking vessel in his hands



Unsuspecting drinker were unprepared for what came next, with the hyper realistic humanoid berating locals before crushing a drinking vessel in his hands





Fred the Robot was built by five engineers from robotics company Engineered Arts, based in Penryn, Cornwall, over twelve weeks


The team developed several hundred thousand lines of computer code and tens of thousands of components, including a sophisticated metal skeleton, silicone skin, real hair and solid acrylic eyes - all 3D-scanned from Tedroy to bring Fred to life


To field test Fred, the London pub was rigged with hidden cameras and Fred was planted in the bar to see if he could beguile the public. Relaxed in the bar, the android struck up conversations with unsuspecting members of the public

Fred’s human-like interactions were controlled by Engineered Arts’ telepresence system, which uses inbuilt sensors, cameras and microphones to track how people interact with the machine.

The robot, who was created to engage in natural conversation in real-time as a human would, responded to their shock appropriately with emphasised gestures and punctuated speech, voiced by a remote operator.

Mr Newell, 55, who the robot was modelled on, said: 'Seeing yourself in robot form is a very, very strange experience.

'I’m honestly amazed at how realistic they were able to make it look – you can barely tell us apart.

'Not many people have had the chance to meet their ‘robotic twin’ so it’s very cool to have been a part of this project.'


Reactions to Fred ranged from startled confusion to fear and unease as members of the public digested a series of weighty questions, including ‘what are your thoughts on the impending humanoid robot invasion?’



Pubgoes were then witness to a scheduled 'malfunction' in which Fred began to glitch before dramatically shattering a pint glass



Fred’s human-like interactions were controlled by Engineered Arts’ telepresence system, which uses inbuilt sensors, cameras and microphones to track how people interact with the machine



Fred, who was created to engage in natural conversation in real time as a human would, responded to their shock appropriately with emphasised gestures and punctuated speech voiced by a remote operator


Fred was funded by streaming service Now TV to promote the return of dark science fiction show Westworld and was inspired by the show’s artificially intelligent 'hosts'.

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.

'Fred is the next generation in human-like robotics and so it seemed fitting to hand the show’s promotion over to him.

'Needless to say, there were some stunned reactions, especially when in true Westworld style he started to glitch.'


Tedroy Newell, who the robot was modelled on, said: 'Seeing yourself in robot form is a very, very strange experience. 'I’m honestly amazed at how realistic they were able to make it look – you can barely tell us apart'



Fred was funded by streaming service Now TV to promote the return of dark science fiction show Westworld and was inspired by the show’s artificially intelligent 'hosts'



The experiment was a nod to the show’s central premise, where humans interact with artificially intelligent robots indistinguishable from humans



Research commissioned by Now TV, polling 2,000 British adults, revealed that more than two thirds (69 per cent) of Brits are worried or fearful at the prospect of robots taking over their jobs, while 40 per cent believe a robot could do their job just as well if not better than them

WHAT DO EXPERTS SAY ON GIVING ROBOTS STATUS AS PERSONS UNDER THE LAW?

The question of whether robots are people has European lawmakers and other experts at loggerheads.

The issue first arose in January 2017, thanks to a paragraph of text buried deep in a European Parliament report, that advised creating a 'legal status for robots'.

A group of 156 AI specialists from 14 nations has written an open letter to the European Commission in Brussels denouncing the move.

Writing in the statement, they said: ‘We, artificial intelligence and robotics experts, industry leaders, law, medical and ethics experts, confirm that establishing EU-wide rules for robotics and is pertinent to guarantee a high level of safety and security to the European Union citizens while fostering innovation.

‘As human-robot interactions become common place, the European Union needs to offer the appropriate framework to reinforce Democracy and European Union values.

‘In fact, the artificial intelligence and robotics framework must be explored not only through economic and legal aspects, but also through its societal, psychological and ethical impacts.

‘In this context, we are concerned by the European Parliament resolution on civil law rules of robotics, and its recommendation to the European Commission.’

They say that the creation of a legal status of an 'electronic person' for self-learning robots is a bad idea, for a whole host of reasons.

This includes the fact that companies manufacturing the machines may be absolved of any legal liability for damage inflicted by their creations.

They added: 'Legal status for a robot can’t derive from the Natural Person model, since the robot would then hold human rights, such as the right to dignity, the right to remuneration or the right to citizenship.

'The legal status for a robot can’t derive from the Legal Entity model,' as afforded to businesses, 'since it implies the existence of human persons behind the legal person to represent and direct it. This is not the case for a robot.'

'Consequently, we affirm that the European Union must prompt the development of the AI and bobotics industry insofar as to limit health and safety risks to human beings.

'The protection of robots’ users and third parties must be at the heart of all EU legal provisions.'


WHY ARE PEOPLE SO WORRIED ABOUT AI?

It is an issue troubling some of the greatest minds in the world at the moment, from Bill Gates to Elon Musk.

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk described AI as our 'biggest existential threat' and likened its development as 'summoning the demon'.

He believes super intelligent machines could use humans as pets.

Professor Stephen Hawking said it is a 'near certainty' that a major technological disaster will threaten humanity in the next 1,000 to 10,000 years.

They could steal jobs

More than 60 percent of people fear that robots will lead to there being fewer jobs in the next ten years, according to a 2016 YouGov survey.

And 27 percent predict that it will decrease the number of jobs 'a lot' with previous research suggesting admin and service sector workers will be the hardest hit.

As well as posing a threat to our jobs, other experts believe AI could 'go rogue' and become too complex for scientists to understand.

A quarter of the respondents predicted robots will become part of everyday life in just 11 to 20 years, with 18 percent predicting this will happen within the next decade.

They could 'go rogue'

Computer scientist Professor Michael Wooldridge said AI machines could become so intricate that engineers don't fully understand how they work.

If experts don't understand how AI algorithms function, they won't be able to predict when they fail.

This means driverless cars or intelligent robots could make unpredictable 'out of character' decisions during critical moments, which could put people in danger.

For instance, the AI behind a driverless car could choose to swerve into pedestrians or crash into barriers instead of deciding to drive sensibly.

They could wipe out humanity

Some people believe AI will wipe out humans completely.

'Eventually, I think human extinction will probably occur, and technology will likely play a part in this,' DeepMind's Shane Legg said in a recent interview.

He singled out artificial intelligence, or AI, as the 'number one risk for this century'.

Musk warned that AI poses more of a threat to humanity than North Korea.

'If you're not concerned about AI safety, you should be. Vastly more risk than North Korea,' the 46-year-old wrote on Twitter.

'Nobody likes being regulated, but everything (cars, planes, food, drugs, etc) that's a danger to the public is regulated. AI should be too.'

Musk has consistently advocated for governments and private institutions to apply regulations on AI technology.

He has argued that controls are necessary in order protect machines from advancing out of human control.