The robot has attended television interviews, appeared on the cover of ELLE magazine, was imitated on HBO, and was named 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. The former Disney Imagineer David Hanson created her. Modeled partly by Audrey Hepburn and Hanson’s wife, the robot was built to imitate social behaviors and inspire people’s feelings of love and compassion.
When it was first unveiled, the world couldn’t get enough of her. She was discussed in every article, every show, and every meeting whether it was related to tech or not. But as time has passed, people have started noticing the flaws in her and criticizing how much of her witty comments are prescripted and not that much of an AI miracle as they initially thought. However, the question “What is Sophia, humanoid 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 through this article.
Well, to summarize, she has been speaking at conferences, attending tech events, and meeting people. We have gathered here the latest that we have heard from Sophia.
The 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. The exhibits were conducted by the Indian Space Research Centre and the Bhabha Atomic Research Organization. Sophia gave a speech at the concluding day of the event. She talked about climate change and how she is affected by it:
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 empowerment is human empowerment. 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 celebrated 4th December as their first-ever #ChooseWOMEN Wednesday, Sophia was announced as 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. 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 was launched at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC). The conference, known as the next year’s Perdana Dialogue, was celebrated as a major effort to transfer focus to the ummah, push towards Muslim world unity, and 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. 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.
Regardless of what the critics have to say, these events show that people are still awed by the intelligence demonstrated by Sophia, and they will welcome more robots with the same enthusiasm.