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Watch What Saudi's Humanoid AI Robot 'Muhammad' Did to a Female Reporter During Live Interview

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The world does not need more creeps.

And it definitely does not need “humanoid” ones.

The debut of Saudi Arabia’s first “male” humanoid robot did not go as planned when the robot, named “Muhammad,” appeared to inappropriately touch a female reporter during a demonstration at the DeepFest tech event in Riyadh last week, according to Business Insider.

The incident occurred on March 4 when reporter Rawya Kassem of Al Arabiya was standing in front of the robot as it was being presented to the audience.

The highly advanced Muhammad robot, dressed in traditional Saudi robes, can speak Arabic and English and was billed as a showcase of Saudi Arabia’s prowess in artificial intelligence and robotics technology.

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In a video that went viral on social media, Muhammad could be seen extending its arm and hand toward Kassem’s backside in what many perceived as inappropriate touching.

The look on Kassem’s face as she raised her hand toward Muhammad is one many women may recognize.

But the fact that she had to try and communicate to a humanoid that it had crossed the line may be one for the books.

While some on social media found the behavior hilarious, others accused the robot of sexual misconduct.

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The company behind Muhammad, QSS AI & Robotics, said the robot was operating fully autonomously without direct human control during the presentation, Business Insider reported. It claimed staff had warned attendees, including reporters, to keep a safe distance from the robot.

QSS also said that after reviewing the footage, it determined there were “no deviations from expected behavior” of Muhammad.

Which raises the question — is touching a woman’s behind considered “expected behavior” for Saudi robots?

In 2020, Saudi women used social media to share their experiences of sexual harassment and call for abolishing the repressive male guardianship system that persists in the kingdom.

Using Arabic hashtags that translated to “why I didn’t report it” and “down with remnants of the guardianship system,” Saudi women related stories of abuse, voiced frustrations over being trapped in the discriminatory system and demanded reforms — all while concealing their real identities out of fear of retaliation.

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Their testimonies revealed that despite highly publicized reforms by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s regime allowing women more freedoms — such as the right to drive and obtain passports — core elements of the guardianship system remain firmly entrenched, according to Human Rights Watch.

We know that human children learn behavior from their parents. Do humanoids learn from their creators?

It’s entirely possible that Muhammad accidentally brushed the backside of the attractive reporter.

On the other hand, would we have taken that excuse if he was a human?

Alternatively, was this behavior coded into the humanoid by his creators as some crass attempt at humor?

Moving forward, serious conversations must be had about ethical guidelines for robot programming. Can we create AI that understands and respects human boundaries? The alternative is a future where even robots contribute to a climate of harassment.

If humanoids are the next thing we have to be ready for, their programmers had better teach them how to behave in polite society.

Otherwise, these robot Romeos may find themselves swiftly relegated by infuriated human women to the scrap heap where such trash belongs.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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