Qatar university installs robotic receptionist

A Qatar university has installed a robotic receptionist, which talks in English and Arabic, and which will soon be able to read human facial expressions when new upgrades are installed.

The new roboceptionist, which is named HALA, has been installed at the reception of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar.

“We are in the process of designing a new body that will make her more portable. If and when we do so, we will be able to take her into the community,” Majd Sakr, Associate Teaching Professor of Computer Science at CMU-Q said.

“We have been busy deploying and administering an experiment to measure human perception of politeness versus directness across two groups, native Arabic and native English speakers. Preliminary observations look promising but we’re still analysing the data.

“HALA was not built to be portable. However, we are considering designing a new body that will make her more portable. If and when we do so, we will be able to take her into the community," he added.

The team behind the project is also looking to upgrade HALA so she can recognise human facial expressions.

“What we have found so far is that expressions for positive emotions are easy to identify, however, negative emotions (sadness, anger, disappointment) are harder to recognise. More interestingly, accents in expressions of disappointment seem to be culturally driven,” said Sakr.

According to HALA’s online profile on the university’s website, her educational qualifications include a B.Sc. in Weather Prediction and a Ph.D. in Rejecting Marriage Proposals.

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Antonio

Or was manufactured Hala, I hope Qatar?

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
How technology is revving up the future of driving

How technology is revving up the future of driving

Technology firms have been investing in autonomous driving for...

A printed future: the 3D revolution

A printed future: the 3D revolution

Imagine printing a new house, jewellery, even a healthy heart...

Understanding blockchain and its growing importance in the UAE

Understanding blockchain and its growing importance in the UAE

Project Pen’s John Lillywhite talks to Moe Levin, founder of...

2
Most Discussed
sponsoredTracking