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NYC Kicks Out Eerie AI Robot Diagnosing Passersby For Coronavirus
By Thanussha Priyah, 07 Feb 2020
Image via Promobot
On Thursday, an AI robot by Pennsylvania-based company Promobot was stationed at Bryant Park in New York to “detect” passersby of possible symptoms of the coronavirus. Less than an hour later, the robot was kicked out of its place.
The robot screened various passersby via several questions such as, “Have you had a fever in the last three days?” and provided details and raised awareness on the deadly virus.
A Queens health specialist called the robot “a little overkill” to be placed in the park. “A stand with an iPad would have been enough. They do not need a whole robot,” he told the New York Post.
Alejandra Garcia, a tourist from Spain, described the bot to be “really cute,” and that it offered information on the symptoms of the infectious disease, such as coughs and other upper respiratory complications.
After only three people took the interactive survey, the robot was immediately sent packing home. Founder Oleg Kivorkutsev claimed that the park had to evacuate the android because it did not have the required permit for moving machinery.
Joe Carella, a spokesperson for Bryant Park Corp., confirmed with the New York Post that the robot was removed because it did not have the proper papers. “You can’t have commercial entities doing business [without a permit],” Carella explained. “It is in the best interest of the public.”
Kivorkutsev mentioned that the company developed a coronavirus detection software for the droid to inform the public about the virus. He added that the bot was able to sing Beatles tunes and dance to Pitbull.
[via The New York Post, images via Promobot]
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