Saudi ‘Male Humanoid’ Robot Inappropriately Touches Female Reporter: Video

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A Saudi robotics company’s unveiling of a “male” humanoid robot didn’t go as planned after it appeared to inappropriately touch a female reporter.

Saudi robotics company QSS debuted “Muhammad the Humanoid Robot” at DeepFest in Riyadh last week. The robot, dressed in traditional Saudi attire, spoke Arabic and English.

In a DeepFest post on X, Muhammad was described as “the first Saudi robot in the form of a man,” as well as a national project to highlight Saudi Arabia’s AI achievements.

During a presentation, a reporter for Al Arabiya, Rawya Kassem, stood in front of Muhammad as she spoke to the audience.

A viral video of the incident showed the robot appearing to extend a hand forward to touch her backside.

In the clip, Kassem can be seen responding with a stern glare, followed by a raised palm at Muhammad, before she continues to talk.

On X, social media users accused the robot of inappropriately touching the female reporter.

QSS, which did not immediately respond to BI’s request for comment, told Metro that the robot was “fully autonomous” and was operating “independently without direct human control.”

The robotics firm said staff had “proactively informed all attendees, including reporters, to maintain a safe distance from the robot during its demonstration.”

According to Metro, QSS added that it had reviewed the footage and the circumstances surrounding the incident, finding that there were “no deviations from expected behavior” of Muhammad.

It said it would take “additional measures” to prevent anyone from “getting close to the robot within its areas of movement.”

Last November, Business Insider reported that humanoid robots could be one of the next big things to come out of the AI boom.

According to MarketsandMarkets, the industry could be worth $13.8 billion by 2028.

But there’s still a long way to go before these robots start coming for your job.