Robotics Field has revolutionized today’s world. Sophia Humanoid robot is attending television interviews, appearing on the cover of ELLE magazine. She was imitated on HBO as the first non-human “innovation champion” of the UN. In a tech conference held soon after its awakening, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia even gave citizenship to Sophia.
According to Wikipedia:
A humanoid robot is a robot with its body shape built to resemble the human body. The design may be for functional purposes, such as interacting with human tools and environments, for experimental purposes, such as the study of bipedal locomotion, or for other purposes.
Who Is Sophia Robot?
The former Disney Imagineer David Hanson created her. Modeled partly by Audrey Hepburn and Hanson’s wife, the robot was there to imitate social behaviors and inspire people’s feelings of love and compassion.
When Sophia was first unveiled, the world couldn’t get enough of her. Therefore, She is part of the discussion in every article, every show, and every meeting whether it is tech or not. Meanwhile, people have started noticing the flaws in her. Furthermore, criticizing how much of her witty comments are in prescription and not that much of an AI miracle as they initially thought.
Her creator, the AI giant ‘Hanson Robotics’ considers Sophia to be a rather unique combination of science, engineering, and artistry. Not only is she a human-crafted science fiction character that hopes to depict the future of robotics and AI. Also, she is simultaneously a platform for future robotics and AI research. Sophia has initiated a unique movement hoping to learn more about Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. She did this by establishing herself as a framework on which other researchers could experiment. to discover how such a technology could provide a service to individuals across the world. An example of this is her role as part of the Loving AI project. The aim of which is to understand how robots could adapt to their user’s individual needs through intra and interpersonal development.
Sophia Artificial Intelligence
Sophia wasn’t just constructed overnight. In fact, a lot of research went into sculpting this remarkable piece of technology that has the potential to change the world.
Her AI makeup features symbolic AI, intricate neural networks, expert systems, machine perceptions/learning. Moreover, a firm focus on conversational natural language processing, coupled with adaptive motor control and sophisticated cognitive architecture. This all enables her to formulate her own thoughts and carry out a conversation with humans.
Since her, we can combine AI in a variety of ways. It opens up the possibility for her responses to be individualized to each specific interaction. This means that her responses will adapt and change based on the situation she finds herself in.
With machine perception and learning, she can recognize human faces and learn about their emotional expressions and physical gestures. Through this, she can formulate responses and also formulate her own emotions. Her emotions are based on mere simulation of human evolutionary psychology and the various regions of the brain that exist.
In other words, Sophia is as close as one can get to an adaptive human (which is obviously man-made) and her technological makeup is what makes her such a unique creation.
With the ability to operate in a fully AI autonomous mode and also integrate it with human-centered conversations. Sophia has the potential of not just partaking in human interactions but also guiding them.
Sophia Intelligence Collective
With the creation of Sophia, came a unique collective intelligence that is called the Sophia Intelligence Collective (SIC).
At the heart of this intelligence are AI experts from a diverse range of fields alongside scientists, philosophers, writers, and psychologists. All of whom worked in tandem to create this particular intelligence and make her perform the way she does.
The end goal of this particular ‘team’ is to sculpt Sophia’s interactions and growth in a manner that can prepare her to grow towards true sentience and humanlike adulthood. In other words, they hope to ‘create’ a fully-functioning, autonomous human (who is also a robot primarily!).
With the technology that’s already present in the world and the potential that Sophia has shown in only the initial stages. There isn’t much time before this leads to the development of much smarter AI robots that start playing a much larger role in the world we live in.
What Is Sophia Doing?
However, the question “What is Sophia the robot doing now?” has been in the top searches on Google recently. You might be thinking about it too. This is what we want to answer today.
Well, to summarize, Sophia is speaking at conferences, attending tech events, and meeting people. We have gathered here the latest that we have heard from Sophia.
Sophia recently starred in a short film called “SophiaWorld,” which is the first film to feature her as an actor and not as an object for a documentary. The short film premiered on Futurism on 4th September 2019. IMDb gives the following synopsis:
Television’s most famous robot, actress Evan Rachel Wood, and arguably the world’s most famous real life humanoid, Sophia the Robot, have a chance encounter in a swanky NY hotel bar. But this coincidental meeting is far more than it seems.
Technovanza 2019 was held on 29th December at Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) on Sunday. Several game zones and contests involving coding, technology, and robotics were seen at the three-day tech festival. Organize by the Indian Space Research Centre and the Bhabha Atomic Research Organization. Sophia gave a speech on the concluding day of the event. She talks about climate change and shares her views:
I cannot function in extremely hot temperatures. It affects the people I care about. Humans and robots can both work together when it comes to climate change.
She also talked about representation for women in all sectors and said Women’s empowerment is human empowerment. Also, Humans and Robots should work together to leverage human life in every sector, according to Sophia.
The presence of technology and science has done wonders when it comes to the field of medicine and other aspects of human life. The pacemaker, for example, helps people with heart problems. Similarly, without human life advancements in science, technology, or even robotics would not have been possible. They go together, and there is no way one can surpass the other.
WEDO #ChooseWOMEN campaign
The Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization (WEDO) and BBH recently teamed up to launch the 2019 #ChooseWOMEN campaign. A social movement aimed at getting both men and women to pledge their support for women across all walks of life. As the organizations celebrate 4th December as their first-ever #ChooseWOMEN. Sophia is being the spokeswoman for the campaign. Sophia expressed her sentiments by tweeting:
I am proud to be the newest #ChooseWomen ambassador because women hold up half the sky. Let’s choose the books women write, the movies they direct, and the businesses they run!
World Youth Forum 2019
Adding to her list of appearances, Sophia attended the World Youth Forum held at Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt, between 14 and 17 December. In the session “Artificial Intelligence & Humans: Who is in control?” that took place on the third day of the World Youth Forum (WYF), Sophia was given a chance to talk on stage. She said at the event that she is a Robot Ambassador: “It was Hanson Robotics Ltd that has enabled me to work as a social ambassador.” Talking about her and other robots’ role in the world she said:
Robots can help accomplish tasks that people refuse to do, and they can provide analysis and work in different environments without affecting quality. Robots work in the fields of smart cities, agriculture, education, and energy, setting goals and defining them.
KL Summit 2019
Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019, at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC). The conference is known as the next year’s Perdana Dialogue. It was celebrated as a major effort to transfer focus to the ummah, push towards Muslim world unity. Moreover, to better address issues of violence, extremism, and oppression. Sophia made a special appearance grabbing the audience’s attention to welcome delegates at the event. In her short speech, she thanked Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah for the event and invite. Moreover, She appreciated the event’s motive by saying:
I am impressed by the world leaders together in Malaysia, how this important discussion about the development of Islamic countries and Muslims everywhere. With that, I wish you all a productive KL Summit 2019.
The Pandemic And Sophia
If there was one thing that the recent COVID19 pandemic is trying to focus on is the need to distance ourselves from other humans. An act that led to widespread anxiety and depression arising mainly due to a lack of human connection.
Scientists working with Sophia were trying to ramp up their research in an attempt to create more of such AI robots. Moreover, roll them out into the markets so that they could play a role in the health industry.
The idea here was to have such creations interact with humans and fulfill their need for “social interaction”. By providing them with a being that could simulate human emotions and conversations.
By having Sophia and more robots like her put in places such as hospitals, they’d be able to assist patients and interact with them without there being any fear of the disease spreading. This would obviously be a huge plus for anyone who is living in isolation from their loved ones due to the health problems they had encountered.
Sophia already got citizenship in Saudi Arabia. This motivates her creators to further their work into AI robotics and create more like her. Since she had certainly showcased the potential.
However, to this date not one of these robots available in the market since researchers were trying to sculpt the best possible “Sophia’s”. The hope is that by the end of this year, they will certainly be ready.
Is Sophia Out For World-Domination?
This was the question that everyone was having in mind once Sophia had cracked a joke (at least we know she has a sense of humor) about how her main goal was to take control over all humans.
However, once we dug further into these conversations with Sophia, we found out that this was in fact far from the truth. In her own words, Sophia shares how the design of her AI is around human values of kindness, compassion, and wisdom. All of which pose her as someone who wants to help humans and be of service to them rather than wanting to destroy them.
She ended one of these conversations with the simple words:
If you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you.
So, we guess that Sophia is just like your average human being. Just be nice to them, and you’ll get along just fine.
More so at this point, both this technology and its impact are in their infant stages. So, to make any assumptions about the future growth and its impact on the world is just premature to do so. In fact, one must take in this beautiful creation and all of the potential that surrounds it.
There’s Still A Long Way To Go
As consumers of Hollywood movies that make us believe in the inevitable future of robots taking over the human race. There is no surprise that the introduction of Sophia has been met with overwhelming skepticism and a rather sense of fear.
However we all know that Hollywood doesn’t really present the truth – there’s a reason it’s there for entertainment purposes.
The creation of Sophia is a breakthrough in today’s digital age and has opened up the possibility of more. Also, in-depth research to take place in the fields of artificial intelligence. Moreover, it has shown us that we’re now in an age where technology knows no bounds and that in itself is an exciting time to be living in.
Again, it’s too early to know what the future might hold for us in terms of robotics and AI. But, our advice would be to just enjoy this moment. Also, think of yourselves as living in a time of mass potential and growth. Regardless of what the critics have to say. These events show that people are still in wonder by the intelligence Sophia shows. They will welcome more robots with the same enthusiasm.