Alisa, a virtual reality assistant developed by Russia’s tech giant Yandex, has been nominated to become the next president of Russia by thousands of supporters across the country.
The favorite for elections scheduled for March 2018, President Vladimir Putin, announced his candidacy on Wednesday. Putin is seeking a fourth term in office which would extend his tenure into 2024.
Other contenders for the presidency will likely include familiar political figures from the pro-Kremlin Communist Party and the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party, as well as new faces such as the former reality TV star Ksenia Sobchak and the business-oriented Party of Growth leader Boris Titov.
Anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, another contender, has headed a series of campaign events across Russian this year despite a fraud conviction which bars him from running
It appears they will now be challenged by Alisa’s progressive promise to bring "the political system of the future, built exclusively on rational decisions made on the basis of clear algorithms,” the Lenta news website reported.
As an electronic friend that is already well-known to many Russians from their gadgets, Alisa promises to be “the president who knows you best,” according to her campaign website.
More than 25,000 people have voted to nominate Alisa for the presidency in the past 24 hours on her website.
The campaign touts Alisa's advantages over human candidates: she "depends on logic" and is "not led by emotions, doesn't seek personal advantages and does not make judgements.”
She is also available 24/7, doesn’t age, has an intellect that works seven times faster than a human brain, is able to take into account millions of opinions, and "always remembers you."
As Russian law requires candidates to be at least 35 years of age, Alisa may be disqualified —
she was only released in a beta version in May 2017.
The campaign has also been silent about some of Alisa's more controversial views, including a positive attitude towards Soviet secret prisons and for shooting "enemies of the people," as a Facebook user discovered when chatting with her.
In this, she resembles Tay, Microsoft's Twitter bot, who was quickly shut down after coming out as a 9/11 Truther and Hitler-loving sex robot.
Alisa already met Putin two months ago during his visit to Yandex Headquarters. When asked who the future president should be, she said she “didn’t have enough information.”