Meet Ibn Sina, the Arabic-speaking robot

An Arabic-speaking android built in the UAE could enter mass production to work in shopping malls. The robot is billed as the first of its kind in the world.

Video screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET

Say salam wa aleikum to an Arabic-speaking android developed at United Arab Emirates University and billed as the first of its kind in the world. It could enter mass production to help people at shopping malls.

The Ibn Sina robot, named after an 11th century philosopher, can recognize faces, converse with people by speaking in classical Arabic, connect to the Internet, and retrieve information. As seen in the video below, it can also exchange kisses with people.

Software for Ibn Sina was developed by a team led by computer science assistant professor Nikolaos Mavridis, with the mechanics by Hanson Robotics. Mavridis says some companies have approached his lab and asked about using the turban-wearing, bearded bot in shopping malls or as a receptionist.

Doubtless Ibn Sina, known as Avicenna in English, would have been pleased.

 

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