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Germany

When Diplomatic Immunity Becomes A License To Treat Domestic Staff Like Dogs

She worked late hours for meager pay, and suffered constant abuse. But in the end, the case of the Berlin-based Indonesian housekeeper went nowhere – thanks to her alleged tormentor’s diplomatic status. Is it time to change the longstanding practice of di

The Saudi Arabian Embassy in Berlin, Germany (sporst)
The Saudi Arabian Embassy in Berlin, Germany (sporst)
Constanze von Bullion

BERLIN -- The life of a domestic slave takes place at floor level. That's the way it was described by the Indonesian woman who lived it. Sleeping on the floor, summer and winter, with only a sheet to use as mattress or to keep her warm. Scrubbing the floor. Kneeling on the floor to tie the shoelaces of her employer's children.

The children were already in their early teens – old enough to tie their own shoelaces, to get dressed on their own. But human beings are obsessed with comfort, and they get annoyed if they're not getting something they take for granted. And when the children of a slaveholder get whiny, it's dangerous for the slave. She may face not only a beating but have a bottle thrown at her – and then it's back down on the floor, picking up the shattered glass.

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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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