A London council has announced it will replace a receptionist with a hologram as it is cheaper than employing a person to do the job.
Brent Council, which has invested £12,000 in the hologram, said it would save £17,000 compared to a real-life receptionist.
Shanice, the virtual assistant played by actress Shanice Stewart-Jones, will greet and give basic information on directions and which paperwork people need to fill in.
The council said: "Situated on the ground floor of the Civic Centre, Shanice sits behind a desk just like a real receptionist, but on closer inspection she's actually projected onto a see-through screen."
However, campaigners and opposition councillors have questioned whether the virtual receptionist is value for money at a time when the council is cutting jobs.
Opposition councillor and Lib Dem, Alison Hopkins, said: "There have been complaints about signage in Brent's new civic centre but this is a startlingly expensive way of solving the problem.
"I hope she has been told one of the commonest questions is: 'Where are the toilets?'"
Library campaigners have also argued that the money should instead be spent on essential services such as home care.