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Meet The Thailand Prostitutes Working On Their Own Terms

Most of the many thousands of sex workers in Thailand walk the streets looking for clients. But one group of women wanted a safe home base, so they opened a bar where they can entertain clients.

Mai, Peung and Fah in front of their bar in Chiang Mai
Mai, Peung and Fah in front of their bar in Chiang Mai
Kannikar Petchkaew

CHIANG MAI — In red light districts across Thailand, sex workers gather on the streets every night looking for customers. The government estimates there are 77,000 prostitutes in the country, while NGOs say the figure is closer to 300,000, but both agree that sex trafficking is a significant problem.

Even though the industry is widespread, sex work is technically illegal in Thailand. One establishment — owned and run by women who work in the industry — is challenging the norm and trying to ensure they can practice their profession on their own terms.

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Future

Robot Artists And Us: Who Decides The Aesthetics Of AI?

Ai-Da is touted as the first bonafide robot artist. But should we consider her paintings and poetry original or creative? Is this even art at all?

Ai-Da at work

Leah Henrickson and Simone Natale

Ai-Da sits behind a desk, paintbrush in hand. She looks up at the person posing for her, and then back down as she dabs another blob of paint onto the canvas. A lifelike portrait is taking shape. If you didn’t know a robot produced it, this portrait could pass as the work of a human artist.

Ai-Da is touted as the “first robot to paint like an artist”, and an exhibition of her work called Leaping into the Metaverse opened at the Venice Biennale.

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