It is considered the first robot in the world to use AI in probing incidents where children are involved.

A robot that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to quickly uncover facts in crimes against children has been introduced in the UAE, as authorities step up measures to fight child abuse and exploitation. Through a face recognition feature, the AI-powered robot can detect facial expressions and identify people that the child has recently interacted with.

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) on Wednesday (April 3) said it introduced the robot with the aim of speeding up the investigations of crimes against children, including physical or emotional abuse and bullying.

It is considered the first robot in the world to use AI in probing incidents where children are involved.

The robot can detect a person’s emotions and read the questions written by a police officer during an interview with a child. It can also display images directed to the officer or the child through an ‘iPad’ device placed in its chest.

Children are free to play games and explore the entertainment features of the smart device while they are being interviewed.

“The robot can identify people that children have met or interacted with, and this can provide clues and other important information during investigations,” said Maj Marwan Rashid Al Muqbali, head of the MoI’s robotics project team.

Speaking at the recent seventh Community Awareness Council entitled ‘Protecting our Children, Our Responsibility’ in Abu Dhabi and after unveiling the robot, Brig Mohammad Ali Al Shehhi, director of the Department of Human Rights at the MoI, said promoting children’s safety and protecting their rights are among the country’s top priorities.

“The UAE has introduced child protection laws, with comprehensive provisions for all the rights of a child and the necessary care and protection that must be given to him or her,” said Al Shehhi.

He cited some of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Child’s Rights Law, including the right to life and security and the right to be given a name that doesn’t harm their dignity. All children must also be registered in the national database as soon as they’re born.

“The law requires the parent or guardian to provide the child with all necessary opportunities to facilitate his or her well-being and protect the kid from all manifestations of neglect, exploitation and abuse,” he said.

“The law also tells parents or guardians to provide all the requirements of family safety to children. Children also have the right to be raised in an environment that encourages them to adhere to their faith, right to education, right to healthcare, and protection from being abandoned.”

Brig Al Shehhi also said that the law bans child labour and also safeguards children from negligence and sexual abuse.

What the robot can do

>Can identify people the child has interacted with

>Can detect facial expressions, read emotions

>Can read questions written by police officers during interviews with kids

>Can display images through an iPad device in its chest

>Can keep kids at ease through different entertainment features, games

Source: Khaleej Times