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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 19 November 2018

It’s not just technology that can make us lose our accents

Our readers have their say on mobile phones, mall mosques, the Uighurs and artificial intelligence
Amazon Echo during an event announcing several new Amazon products in Seattle. Elaine Thompson / AP

I write in reference to your article Not all accents are boss (great) when it comes to your voice-activated assistant (September 3): Justin Thomas nicely analysed the artificial intelligence adopting other languages and accents in his excellent opinion piece.

He argues that we are in danger of slowly forgetting our own accents by changing the way we speak so the robots can understand us. The article was meaningful and thought-provoking.

Many people who work overseas or work within the IT sector try to adopt the accent of the country in which they are operating and many never recover the accent they were born with.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru

Mobile phones are the bane of teachers’ lives

I write in reference to your article Mobile menace: How phone games can be ‘as addictive as cigarettes’ (July 3): personal telephony, technology’s smartest invention to date, has finally crossed the line between use and misuse. France’s recent ban on children using mobile phones in classrooms is a move that should be emulated by education bodies globally as attainment both at school and long after bows under the weight of this new pastime.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s push for legislation must be seen as one of the most far-reaching attempts to block a new generation of learners from being distracted by the gadget, making the jobs of teachers far harder and spawning a decline in quality professionals globally.

AR Modak, Johannesburg

Please install more mosques in Abu Dhabi’s many malls

There are many enormous malls in Abu Dhabi but some of these malls do not contain a mosque. All the city’s malls have small prayer halls or rooms but it is generally not sufficient for the number of people who want to pray.

As a result, there is usually a big rush during prayer times. Unsurprisingly, Friday prayers are the busiest.

I hope the concerned authority will look into this issue.

MA Mannan, Abu Dhabi

The Uighurs should be free to practise their religion

I write in reference to Sholto Byrnes’ opinion piece A policy of non-intervention should be respected. So should Uighur rights (September 4): this kind of activity is not expected from a considerate leader like Chinese President Xi Jinping. Let people follow their own religion as they are not hurting the state anyway. The world is looking to China now as a land of progressive reforms and economic growth. I, too, hope the policy of non-intervention will remain and the Uighurs in China will be free to practise their religion.

Name withheld by request