Leanne looks worried on Corrie; inset, baby Oliver on a laptop screen (Credit: ITV/Composite: ED!)

Coronation Street: Leanne is talking to an AI version of Oliver and it’s seriously creepy

The Institute's latest gift is a particularly creepy one

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Tonight’s episode of Coronation Street revealed that Leanne Battersby has been talking to an AI version of her dead son Oliver… and it’s seriously chilling.

This came as Nick and Toyah accused Leanne of developing inappropriate feelings for Institute member Rowan. After hearing Leanne tell a mystery figure on her laptop that she loved them, Toyah leapt to the theory that she was declaring her love for Rowan.

However, when confronted by Nick, Leanne revealed the horrifying truth… straight out of the uncanny valley.

Oliver on Leanne's laptop screen on Corrie
Oliver-bot was a gift from the Institute to Leanne (Credit: ITV)

Leanne reveals AI Oliver

Showing Nick her laptop screen, Leanne revealed that she had actually been talking to her dead son Oliver; or at least a ‘state of the art’ AI designed to look and sound like Oliver would have.

‘Hello Mummy,’ said robo-Oliver as Nick looked on in a strange combination of pity and disgust.

Nick and Toyah were, somewhat appropriately, horrified. Toyah was particularly disgusted by Rowan’s latest manipulation tactic.

After Nick told her what the Institute had been up to, she then confronted Rowan on the street. As she demanded that Leanne get rid of AI Oliver, she angrily referred to the simulation as an ‘aberration,’ and a clear attempt at controlling her sister.

Fans were certainly very creeped out by the AI image too.

Leanne was left heartbroken when baby Oliver passed, aged only three (Credit: ITV)

Who was Oliver Battersby on Coronation Street – and how did he die?

Oliver was the son of Leanne and Steve McDonald, conceived as a result of the pair’s one-night stand in 2016.  Born in 2017, Oliver’s life was cut short when he was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease three years later.

He died in November 2020, with Leanne and Steve at his side as the youth’s life support was then switched off.

His digital resurrection is the latest attempt by Rowan and the Institution to manipulate Leanne, appealing to her grief and sense of loss surrounding her son’s tragic death.

Toyah looks upset as Kit arrives to arrest her in Coronation Street
Toyah begged Leanne to see the light… just as the police arrived (Credit: ITV)

The police arrest Toyah for murder

That same episode, the police also arrested Toyah for the murder of her baby.

Did Rowan report Toyah to the police? Or, even worse, did Leanne shop her own sister, at Rowan’s insistence?

Can Nick and Toyah save Leanne from the Institute?

Read more: Who’s leaving Coronation Street in 2024? Complete list of cast exits, arrivals and returns

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Coronation Street usually airs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8pm on ITV.

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Joel Harley
Freelance Writer