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Cities of Tomorrow: India and China unveil a female Robocop and AI news anchor

Cities of Tomorrow: India and China unveil a female Robocop and AI news anchor

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Text: Aravin Sandran


Where: Kerala, India

Who: Thiruvananthapuram Police Headquarters

What: While Singapore fights crime with handsome cardboard police officers, India has sworn in its first robotic police officer. The machine — cryptically named KP-Bot — will operate the front desk at the headquarters. While the robot can perform a perfect salute, its duties don't go beyond recording complaints and directing visitors to the correct department at the moment. There are plans to integrate more progressive technology including facial recognition and bomb-detection software in the future. The robot was also gendered as a female during the unveiling in February as a response to growing sentiments around gender equality that have risen in the face of sexual harassment and violence against women in the country.

Where: China

Who: State-run news outlet Xinhua

What: No one knows efficiency better than the Chinese. Since launching its male AI news personalities in November last year, Xinhua's anchors have been hard at work, delivering more than 3,000 news reports and clocking in more than 10,000 minutes of on-screen time. The news agency has collaborated with search engine Sogou to debut its first female news anchor Xin Xiaomeng during its coverage of the annual political and legislature gathering Two Sessions in March. Capable of delivering news in both English and Mandarin languages, the anchors have received an upgrade that allows them to perform while standing and talking simultaneously alongside each other. 

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