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Sara, the First Humanoid Robot in Saudi Arabia, Puts Cultural Sensitivity First and Steers Clear of Touchy Subjects

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Sara, Saudi Arabia’s first humanoid robot, has been introduced in a ground-breaking advancement in the field of robotics and AI. Sara, a creation of QSS AI & Robots, located in Riyadh, is a symbol of both technology innovation and cultural awareness since her programming purposefully avoids talking about touchy subjects like politics and sex.

Sara’s awareness of her cultural background was highlighted by Elie Metri, CEO of QSS AI & Robots, who said, “Sara knows that she’s a girl, she’s 25 years old, she’s 1.62 centimeters, and she’s wearing Saudi clothing.” Metri emphasized that Sara must keep her composure by refraining from talking about politics or sex because of Saudi Arabian social mores.

Wearing a traditional abaya from Saudi Arabia, Sara is a trailblazer in the field of robotics in Saudi Arabia and perhaps the Middle East as a whole. Sara is bilingual in Arabic and English, and her language skills are supported by the in-house language learning model developed by QSS AI & Robots. This AI system is designed to understand and produce text and voice without the need for outside libraries.

Even while Saudi Arabia has recently made progress toward modernization—loosening clothing regulations and allowing women to drive, for example—some subjects are still off-limits because of sensitive legal and cultural issues. Metri’s choice to instill these social norms in Sara is a reflection of her sophisticated awareness of the sociocultural context of the nation.

After an incident at a recent tech show, Muhammad—another brainchild of QSS AI & Robots—came under the limelight, despite Sara’s noteworthy accomplishments. Muhammad was accused of improper behavior when he seemed to reach out a hand to an Al Arabiya reporter in a video that went viral. Metri, on the other hand, denied the allegations, blaming the event on the robot’s normal speech gestures.

Metri stated that Muhammad’s gesture was not a deliberate act of wrongdoing, but rather the outcome of its programmed movements when speaking. He emphasized the differences between human conduct and artificial motions, saying social media misinterpreted and exaggerated the situation.

Despite being sensationalized on social media, Metri claims that participants at the DeepFest conference in Riyadh were not very concerned about the Muhammad incident. He ascribed this to the general understanding that Muhammad is, at bottom, a robot and cannot possibly have bad intentions.

Sara and Muhammad serve as evidence of Saudi Arabia’s dedication to innovation as the country embraces new technology. The creation and use of humanoid robots represent a daring step towards a future in which humans and machines live in harmony, honoring cultural sensitivities and promoting social progress at the same time, despite potential difficulties and conflicts.

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