Copyright AFP 2017-2022. All rights reserved.
A video has been viewed millions of times after it circulated online in multiple Asian countries, alongside claims of a real-life human robot on display at the 2017 Tokyo Game Show. But the claim is false. The video actually shows a Japanese model hired by video game giant Sony Interactive Entertainment to act as Android to promote its latest product at the 2017 trade show. A company spokesperson confirmed that they hired several people “to attend the event.” act like ‘androids'”.
The 24-second clip, which shows a woman waving and moving her head in an apparently robotic manner, was shared here on July 24, 2022, by a Malaysian Facebook user.
The caption of the post reads: “Extremely real looking robot at Tokyo Game Show in 2017”.
Tokyo Game Show 2017 was held that year from September 21 to 24 at Makuhari Messe, in Chiba, a suburb of Tokyo.
The same footage has been viewed more than 5.3 million times after it circulated along with a similar claim on Facebook in Japan here and here, in Hong Kong, the Philippines, India and Bangladesh.
Similar posts have appeared here and here on YouTube, where the clip has been viewed more than 937,000 times.
However, the claim is false.
Using a reverse image search and keywords, AFP found this photo tweeted on March 30, 2019 by Japanese model Saori Takayama, in which she wears an identical costume as seen in the misleading video.
“Post your representative work to the end of the Heisei era,” she wrote on Twitter. “Android!!”
The Japanese Emperor Hirohito abdicated on that day, marking the end of the Heisei era.
According to Takayama’s Instagram bio, she is an “artist” who works freelance as an Android actor.
The same photo is used as the profile photo of her YouTube account.
Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in the misleading post (left) and the photo tweeted by Takayama (right), with some identical features highlighted by AFP.
Takayama posted a photo to Instagram on September 23, 2017, and tagged it at Makuhari Messe, the Tokyo Game Show (TGS) venue. The caption reads in part: “TGS Weather Today”.
Playstation game promotion
The same costume can be seen in photos published here and here on the website of the Japanese photo agency Nippon News.
The caption of the photos reads, in part, “Models in a showcase show cosplaying a video game ‘Detroit Become Human’ for promotion at the 2017 Tokyo Game Show in Chiba, a Tokyo suburb on Thursday, September 21, 2017.”
Similar models can be seen in this 2017 video posted on a gaming YouTube channel, titled: “Detroit: Become Human PlayStation Booth – Tokyo Game Show 2017”.
Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) debuted its Playstation video game “Detroit: Become Human” at Tokyo Game Show 2017, as reported here and here.
A SIE spokesperson confirmed to AFP on August 26, 2022 that several individuals “were hired to act as ‘androids’ during the event”.