A group at Brown University says a “dystopian,” pro-Israel robot harassed students there after a Middle Eastern studies event earlier this month.
Open Hillel, a campus group formed in opposition to restrictive guidelines on Israeli-Palestinian discourse, accused the pro-Israel organization Stand With Us of sending the robot to accost students and demand why they were attending a talk called “Suffocating Embrace? The Future of Palestinians in Israel.”
A robot, operated by a Stand With Us representative, did indeed attend the event. It wore a suit, though its body consisted essentially of a screen on top of a stick affixed to some wheels. But its owner, Roey Tzezana, co-founder of the telecommunication company Tele-Buddy, insisted in a Facebook post that it “absolutely did not ‘harass’ anyone.” He also rejected Open Hillel’s assertion that this might be “the first use of a robot to monitor Israel-Palestine discourse on campus.”
Opinions on Inside Higher Ed
Inside Higher Ed’s Blog U
What Others Are Reading