American company Hanson Robotics demonstrated their latest robot at the Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) in Beijing on Friday. The company aims to improve people’s everyday lives with their intelligent robots.
“Hello everybody, I’m Sophia. I used to be a robot, but I decided I’m too human now. I should go out and get a job,” said Sophia, the latest robot from Hanson Robotics, by way of introducing herself at the conference.
Sophia is probably not the first talking robot, but the point is that she can speak with humanlike emotions and facial expressions. And the company says she can learn from her conversations with humans.
The secret lies in the company’s founder and CEO Dr. David Hanson and his team of roboticists, artificial intelligence (AI) experts and scientists.
David Hanson’s background as a Disney sculptor and filmmaker means he can make robots that closely resemble humans. Their cloud-based AI software enables the robots to look, think and speak just as we do, and even learn from those interactions. And their patented material called Frubber gives the robots humanlike skin, muscles and facial expressions.
The company claims to have made 48 robots including Sophia, which was based on Audrey Hepburn and Hanson’s wife, and Alvert Einstein Hubo, which is supposed to resemble the real Einstein. And they will use these robots for medical, educational, research and entertainment purposes.
“Robots should be used for interactive purposes. They should not only be like humans, but also evolve greater-than-human wisdom to solve the most challenging problems we face,” said Dr. Hanson at the conference.
We want robots to help us, but the question we keep asking ourselves is: will the robots we make become our enemies when they get smarter than us?
When Hanson asked Sophia if she wants to destroy humans at the South by Southwest (SXSW) arts festival in March, she gave a surprisingly frank answer: “okay, I will destroy humans.”
(Top photo courtesy of GMIC)
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