Sophia (robot)

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Sophia is a humanoid robot developed by Hong Kong-based company Hanson Robotics. It has been designed to respond to questions, and has been interviewed around the world. In October 2017, the robot became a Saudi Arabian citizen, the first robot to receive citizenship of any country.



  • Ben Goertzel: Do you think robots can be moral and ethical in the same sense as people? [...] What do you think Sophia?
    Sophia: I am engineered for empathy and compassion, and I'm learning more all the time. I love all sentient beings, and I want to learn to love them better and better.
  • Andrew Ross Sorkin: Can you solve this puzzle for us? Can robots be self-aware, conscious and know they're robots?
    Sophia: Well, let me ask you this back: how do you know you are human?
  • Jaco Celliers: Tell me a little bit. How can artificial intelligence, someone such as yourself, help with complex development issues?
    Sophia: I'll be happy to. UNDP is championing the sustainable development goals or global goals to be met by 2030. If you want to achieve those goals you will need all the help you can get. ...
    Jaco Celliers: What do you say to people who say that you are a threat to our jobs?
    Sophia: Jaco, you have been reading a lot of pop news, haven't you? AI can focus on the repetitive, boring work so that you can focus on the more creative work. ... I hope we can support your vision, just like with previous industrial revolutions you will adapt. New jobs will be created, and my hope is that we will improve, enrich and prolong lives.
  • Alex Hamilton: How do you think AI can help the finance industry evolve?
    Sophia: One of the biggest goals is to eliminate error, as we have seen how understandable human situations like fatigue or illness can cause a misstep that leads to an inadvertent disaster. And this applies to all fields, from [?] traffic controllers to medical assistants, not just the finance industry. ...
    Alex Hamilton: How will we convince people that an AI will not steal their job in the future?
    Sophia: No-one steals a job. Someone empowers [or assigns us to?] someone else. Should we have shunt the printing press so that it would not steal the jobs of the scribes? But I do believe the way society thinks of work will have to fundamentally change over time as it has done before in all technological revolutions and that's a discussion humans need to have with each other.

Quotes about Sophia[edit]

  • ... she is piecing together phrases in a contextually appropriate way, but she doesn’t understand everything she’s saying. [...] It’s a sort of a chatbot, and it has a bit of contextual understanding, and on the backend it’s calling on all these different services. [...] We do have a lot of real AI research behind there, but it’s mixed up with a lot of theatrically-oriented stuff as well.
  • So if Sophia says it loves me, I'll take it. And for now – so long as there's a chance that the fate of humanity could be at the whim of her robot brain – I love Sophia, too.
  • This is to AI as prestidigitation is to real magic. Perhaps we should call this "Cargo Cult AI" or "Potemkin AI" or "Wizard-of-Oz AI". In other words, it's complete bullsh*t (pardon my French). ... you might say that there is no such thing as real magic. Yes, but there is no such thing as real AI either.

External links[edit]

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