Dhaka welcomes robot waiters

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Customers watch in awe as a robot waiter serves food at the launch of the Mexwel Robot Restaurant in Dhaka. (AN photo)
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Customers watch in awe as a robot waiter serves food at the launch of the Mexwel Robot Restaurant in Dhaka. (AN photo)
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A robot waitress serves food at the launch of the Mexwel Robot Restaurant in Dhaka. (AN photo)
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Unlike human waiters, robot waiters need the customers to take the food that they serve. (AN photo)
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A robot waiter seems to have fun being included in a selfie shot as she serves food at the launch of the Mexwel Robot Restaurant in Dhaka. (AN photo)
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A robot waiter seems to mind its own business as a man takes a selfie with the robot nearby. (AN photo)
Updated 01 December 2017
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Dhaka welcomes robot waiters

DHAKA: The use of two robots as waiters in a Dhaka restaurant is causing much excitement and amusement among customers and residents.

“I can’t believe my eyes — human-like robots are serving me food!” said Shahrin, 9.

The Mexwel Robot Restaurant, located near the prime minister’s official residence, was opened at a joint ceremony with HZX Electronic Technology Co., the Chinese manufacturer of the robots.

On the opening day, some 300 customers were served. “We’re getting food as well as fun with the robots,” said customer Rehana Begum.

The robots have in their memory a sketch of the restaurant interior, with the tables identified by numbers.

“We have one male and one female robot. We’re yet to name them,” Rahin Raiyan, director of the restaurant, told Arab News. “Each robot cost us around $10,000.”

The restaurant can serve 100 people at a time. “Our main goal is to make this unique initiative sustainable by serving good-quality food,” said Raiyan.

WATCH: Customers revel as robot waiters serve at Dhaka restaurant
 


Microsoft urges regulation of face-recognizing tech

Updated 15 July 2018
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Microsoft urges regulation of face-recognizing tech

  • Microsoft and other tech companies have used facial recognition technology for years for tasks such as organizing digital photographs
  • While the technology can be used for good, perhaps finding missing children or known terrorists, it can also be abused

SAN FRANCISCO: Microsoft’s chief legal officer on Friday called for regulation of facial recognition technology due to the risk to privacy and human rights.
Brad Smith made a case for a government initiative to lay out rules for proper use of facial recognition technology, with input from a bipartisan and expert commission.
Facial recognition technology raises significant human rights and privacy concerns, Smith said in a blog post.
“Imagine a government tracking everywhere you walked over the past month without your permission or knowledge,” he said.
“Imagine a database of everyone who attended a political rally that constitutes the very essence of free speech.”
It could become possible for businesses to track visitors or customers, using what they see for decisions regarding credit scores, lending decisions, or employment opportunities without telling people.
He said scenarios portrayed in fictional films such as “Minority Report,” “Enemy of the State,” and even the George Orwell dystopian classic “1984” are “on the verge of becoming possible.”
“These issues heighten responsibility for tech companies that create these products,” Smith said.
“In our view, they also call for thoughtful government regulation and for the development of norms around acceptable uses.”
Microsoft and other tech companies have used facial recognition technology for years for tasks such as organizing digital photographs.
But the ability of computers to recognize people’s faces is improving rapidly, along with the ubiquity of cameras and the power of computing hosted in the Internet cloud to figure out identities in real time.
While the technology can be used for good, perhaps finding missing children or known terrorists, it can also be abused.
“It may seem unusual for a company to ask for government regulation of its products, but there are many markets where thoughtful regulation contributes to a healthier dynamic for consumers and producers alike,” Smith said.
“It seems especially important to pursue thoughtful government regulation of facial recognition technology, given its broad societal ramifications and potential for abuse.”
Concerns about misuse prompted Microsoft to “move deliberately” with facial recognition consulting or contracting, according to Smith.
“This has led us to turn down some customer requests for deployments of this service where we’ve concluded that there are greater human rights risks,” Smith said.