How would you feel about sitting on a panel with an AI robot?

Disruptive technology will take to the stage next month in a first for the region, writes Campaign Middle East editor Justin Harper

A first for the region will take place next month when an AI robot will take part in a panel discussion in Saudi Arabia.

FIRE, an AI-powered robot created by The Hanging House, will appear at Athar, Festival of Creativity in November.

“We created FIRE because we were curious about how far we could push technology,” said Nidhi Sharma, marketing executive at The Hanging House.

“FIRE isn’t just a robot; he’s our tech partner that challenges our ideas and gives us the opportunity to stay up to date in our field.”

When the agency developed FIRE, it wanted to harmonise creativity and technology with a human touch.

“He’s a game-changer that allows us to be experimental, approach things with a different perspective, makes work efficient and exciting. We’re not replacing creativity with AI; we’re using it to assist and inspire.”

Panel member

The AI robot will appear on a panel debating how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionising the creative process during the Athar festival.

“FIRE has a unique personality shaped by the best features from various technologies. It actively engages in discussions, offering opinions, insights, and innovative ideas to enrich collaboration and enhance the creative landscape in the industry,” said Anam Ahmad, Founder and Chief Creative Officer at The Hanging House.

However, FIRE does have a few limitations. It doesn’t naturally know when to start or stop paying attention in conversations, unlike humans who do this instinctively. To address this, the development team is working on implementing this feature.

For now, we control FIRE’s listening time using a remote controller, allowing it to process information and respond appropriately after a few minutes when a panelist speaks,” added Abdul Aleem, Chief Engineer at The Hanging House.

Work in progress

 Another area of improvement in the future is FIRE’s ability to distinguish between different voices. Currently, it doesn’t do this, but a future iteration will  allow it to analyse the tone, frequency and pitch of voices, which will help it adapt to different speakers more effectively.

 You can ask FIRE follow-up questions, but they need to be related to the ongoing conversation. FIRE remembers what’s currently being discussed.

The AI robot can also interact with other speakers on the panel, not just the moderator. The key is to ask questions through a microphone so FIRE can hear and join in on the conversation effectively.

But FIRE is by no means the finished article.

In the future, FIRE will keep getting better. Today, he tracks images, but tomorrow, he might just plan and execute an entire project or even anticipate your needs before you realise it. The possibilities are endless,” said Sharma.