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Shocking: Saudi Arabia's first male robot accused of harassing woman reporter

Wednesday, March 20, 2024 • Tamil Comments
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Journalists hold a crucial responsibility in informing the public and ensuring accountability, especially of powerful institutions. Unfortunately, harassment against women in the field, particularly TV anchors and reporters, remains a concerning issue worldwide. Shockingly, a recent incident involving a robot has brought this issue to the forefront in an unexpected manner.

During the second edition of DeepFast in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the unveiling of the country’s first male humanoid robot, Android Muhammad, took a controversial turn. The robot, standing beside TV reporter Rawiya Al-Qasimi, allegedly made inappropriate movements with its robotic arm, leading to accusations of harassment.

A seven-second video capturing the incident was widely shared online, drawing attention to the seemingly 'harassing' actions of the robot. The discomfort on the reporter’s face was evident, adding to the controversy surrounding the incident.

The video, shared on the social media platform X (Formerly Twitter) by the handle ‘TansuYegen’ on March 5, 2024, quickly went viral, sparking intense debate and discussion. Viewers flooded the comments section with diverse reactions, with some attributing the robot's actions to its programming, while others condemned it as harassment.

The post garnered significant attention, with over 189,000 views and counting. Opinions varied widely, with some viewers considering the robot's movements as natural, while others criticized the designers for creating a potentially problematic situation. Some viewers likened the incident to "eve-teasing" and unequivocally labeled it as harassment.The viral video caused a sensation on social media, leaving viewers stunned by the robot's gesture. Opinions were divided, with some blaming the programmer and others attributing it to the "natural movement of his hand."

Many viewers expressed concern, labeling the incident as 'eve-teasing' and 'harassment.'

Here's a glimpse of how social media reacted:

“That’s the natural movement of his hands, but she was pretty close to him, so that’s why she was touched," a user commented.

In a humorous tone, an individual quipped, “What are these Saudi Robots capable of?"

“That is still harassment, on the part of whoever programs that robot or with whoever controls it," another user wrote.

An X user posted, “Who programmed this robot?"

"I think it's malfunctioning," another user suggested. "Backend developers need more time to work," another person commented.

“Is the robot indulging in eve teasing?" questioned another.

An account remarked, “The robot programmed in this way, she stood at the wrong spot."

“Almost groped the presenter, eery!" added another.

"Oh my God. Really," a user expressed. "Womaniser robot," another person remarked. "Pervert robot," another comment read.

"Such a creep," another person criticized. "Who trained AI for the exhibition?" another user questioned.

As discussions continue to unfold online, this incident serves as a reminder of the complex ethical considerations surrounding the integration of artificial intelligence into human environments and interactions.

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