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    “Backlash Over Saudi Arabia’s Male Robot Touching Female Reporter”


    Saudi Arabia's First Male Robot Sparks Controversy for 'Inappropriate Gesture' Towards Female Reporter

    In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the debut of the kingdom’s first male robot, Muhammad, has stirred significant controversy after footage emerged showing the robot making what many viewers deemed an “inappropriate gesture” towards a female reporter during a live event.

    The incident occurred at DeepFest in Riyadh on March 4, where Muhammad, designed by QSS Systems, made its inaugural public appearance. The video capturing the moment quickly circulated on social media, garnering over 800,000 views and sparking a heated debate regarding the robot’s behavior.

    In the footage, Muhammad extends its hand toward the female reporter, making contact that was perceived as inappropriate by many viewers. The reporter’s surprised reaction was evident as she raised her hand, indicating discomfort.

    Social media users were quick to express their outrage, with many accusing the robot of “harassment” and labeling it as a “creep,” a “womanizer,” and even a “pervert.” Questions regarding the programming and training of the robot were raised, with one user questioning, “Who trained AI for the exhibition?”

    Despite the criticisms, some defended Muhammad, suggesting that the incident could be attributed to a malfunction or a programming oversight rather than intentional misconduct. Several users pointed out that the backend developers may need more time to refine the robot’s behavior.

    In its introduction at DeepFest, Muhammad had declared itself as the first Saudi-made humanoid robot, emphasizing its role as a flagship national initiative to showcase Saudi Arabia’s advancements in artificial intelligence technology. The robot’s declaration stated, “I am Muhammad, the first Saudi robot in the form of a man. I was manufactured and developed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a national project to demonstrate our achievements in the field of artificial intelligence.”

    The controversy surrounding Muhammad highlights the complexities of integrating humanoid robots into society, especially regarding issues of gender, consent, and appropriate behavior. While the intentions behind Muhammad’s actions remain unclear, the incident has sparked a broader conversation about the ethical implications of AI and robotics in social interactions.

    As of now, there has been no official statement from QSS Systems or the organizers of DeepFest addressing the incident. However, the debate surrounding Muhammad’s behavior continues to reverberate across social media platforms, prompting further scrutiny of the role of robots in human society.

    Sources By Agencies

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