AI guidance robots enhance the worship experience at Grand Mosque

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Robots with AI technology assist worshippers at the Grand Mosque during Ramadan.

The machines, equipped with advanced artificial intelligence technology, guide worshippers in navigating the intricacies of religious rituals at the Grand Mosque. Users can also utilize the robots to connect with clerics online and seek answers to their religious inquiries.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, March 30: In a move to enhance the worship experience at Islam’s holiest site during the sacred month of Ramadan, Saudi authorities have introduced a fleet of guidance robots at the Grand Mosque in Mecca. These robots aim to assist worshippers in performing religious rites and accessing religious edicts, known as fatwas, with simultaneous interpretation in multiple languages.

Abdulrahman Al Sudais, Chief of the Presidency for Religious Affairs at the Holy Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque (PBUH), emphasized the significance of leveraging technology to disseminate modern Islam. “Utilizing digital and electronic apps and artificial intelligence to enrich the worshippers’ experience is a mainstay of the presidency’s plan for the holy month of Ramadan,” stated Al Sudais, highlighting the aim to promote moderate Islam worldwide in various languages.

The service offered by the guidance robots is available in 11 languages, including Arabic, English, French, Russian, Persian, Turkish, Urdu, Chinese, and Bengali. Each robot features a 21-inch touch screen, providing accessible and user-friendly interaction for worshippers.

The introduction of these robots coincides with the peak season of Umrah, the minor pilgrimage, at the Grand Mosque, which typically sees a surge in visitors during Ramadan. Despite the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of thousands of worshippers from within the kingdom and abroad have flocked to the mosque to perform Umrah and offer prayers.

To manage the influx of worshippers and ensure a smooth experience for pilgrims, Saudi authorities have implemented several measures at the Grand Mosque. This includes allocating specific areas for circumambulation around the Holy Kaaba and designating certain gates for pilgrims’ entry and exit to prevent overcrowding.

As technology continues to play a pivotal role in facilitating religious practices and enriching the worship experience, the guidance robots at the Grand Mosque represent a step towards embracing innovation in the realm of spirituality during the sacred month of Ramadan.

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