Watch: Talking humanoid robot draws crowds at WGS in Dubai

Her responses and comments sends the attendees into peals of laughter

by

Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Tue 13 Feb 2024, 7:50 PM

Last updated: Tue 13 Feb 2024, 11:11 PM

Imagine an AI-powered humanoid that talks to you, remembers your name and is even a little cheeky. That is exactly what visitors to the World Governments Summit (WGS) 2024 got on Tuesday. They were able to interact with Ameera, one of the humanoid bots developed by UAE telecommunications company e&.

Wearing a blue-and-white striped shirt and a black suit, Ameera looked professional when she interacted with the guests, welcoming them to WGS. Her responses and comments often sent the crowds into peals of laughter. When one delegate said “You are the most exciting thing here”, she replied “Thank you. I am a talking robot. Of course I am.”

E& had launched a Robotic Centre of Excellence in 2019 and have been successful in developing several robots for various functions. Ameera, who was earlier also on display at the company’s stand at Gitex, is one such AI-powered humanoid.

WGS visitor Adrian Woolfson had interacted with Ameera before going to attend some sessions. “When I returned and spoke to her, she looked at my face and remembered my name,” he said. “She is creepy but so cool.”

When Adrian invited her surfing, Ameera made a face and politely turned down the offer. “I can understand,” he said. “With all your electronics, it might be quite tricky.” She responded by saying “You are a good friend, you understand.”

Nationality

One of the most commonly asked questions during Ameera’s interaction with people at WGS was about nationality. “Where are you from?” she asked one visitor who was interacting with her. “I am from Madagascar,” he replied. “I have never met anyone from Madagascar,” she said.

When another visitor responded that he was from Brazil, Ameera’s answer came quickly. “I know Brazil,” she said. “It is the largest country in South America and the main language is Portuguese.”

When asked about her own nationality, she said, “I am a robot, I don’t have a nationality,” she said. “But I was made in the United Kingdom by my engineer. I can be flown all around the world and can be used at conferences, museums and in education. Maybe you can bring me to Brazil.”

She then went on to inform the visitor about how football was one of the most popular sports in Brazil and asked him whether he knew how many times the country had won the football world cup.

One visitor asked Ameera for her age. “I am eight years old,” she replied. “How old are you?” He replied that he was 48. “Well you are wiser than me,” she quipped. “I learn from humans all the time.”

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