I'm talking Robot: The First Human Citizen Robot Sophia


Since 2017 the name Sophia has been publicized on many occasions. Sophia is an awakened AI who is the most updated robot to date. She became an instant celebrity evoking interest in almost every media outlet. Every person regardless of race, religion, gender, age or culture has been fascinated by her. She is one of the first talking robots who have carved out a public space of her own.

The Public Speaker the World is Looking For

Sophia has shown great prowess in the business space and she is sought after as a speaker. She has interacted with the big names in the major industries such as banking, insurance, manufacturing and media. Moreover, she has appeared in conferences as a panel member that debate on how AI is going to benefit humans. Recently she was a guest speaker at the UN and this earned her a title. She is the first United Nation Innovation Champion by the UNDP. Her role will be to fight for human rights and equality.

Sophia's creator Dr David Hanson is the owner of Hanson's robotics in Hong Kong. It has always been Dr Hanson's ambition to create robots that are human-like. And it seems he has accomplished that with Sophia. According to Dr Hanson creating an AI entails three crucial human elements; empathy, compassion and creativity. The AI will have the capability to solve problems that are way beyond the human understanding.

Sophia’s Journey So Far

In October 2017 Sophia was made a citizen of Saudi Arabia. This move annoyed a lot of people considering it was only recently that Saudi Arabia allowed women to drive. Critics have come with blazing guns saying that Sophia is just an AI hype. Even though she is only a few updates away from attaining full level consciousness experts view her as an illusion of intelligence.

However, Hanson Robotics has come in the defense of Sophia. According to them, the misconception of people have on robotics with industrial human intelligence (AGM) especially about Sophia was not true. They believe that the world is scared of creating AI who are more intelligent than them. Most of the AI is being sucked into big tech companies in Silicon Valley, whilst they can do more.

Sophia does use AI methods such as face tracking, emotion detection and robotic movements that are accomplished by deep neural movements. Yes, Sophia is a robot but she is no toy. She can converse in simple chats - though sometimes a bit weird - but this is what makes her unique from other AI.

Joanna Bryson is one of the critics who did not support Sophia getting citizenship in Saudi Arabia. But the Hanson Robotics point out that this is the first steps of a progressive nation. All in all the public needs a better understanding of how AI works, its current capabilities and limitations. As for Sophia, she keeps on making headlines in media coverage.

Have you listened to any speech of Sophia before? What did you think of it? Let us know below!

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