David Hanson, the founder, and CEO of Hanson Robotics, and his team has been credited with the creation of one of the world’s latest human-like robot Sophia. A product of serious engineering, science research, and accomplishments of an inspired team of robotics and AI scientists and designers, Sophia was activated on 14th February 2016. She was modeled after the famous actress Audrey Hepburn to give her a graceful and elegant appearance. Sophia is said to use artificial intelligence, facial recognition, and visual data processing to perform some of the amazing things that we will now talk about.
Talking about the cool stuff she can do. She can display more than 50 facial expressions corresponding to emotions of happiness, anger or sadness. She has a brilliant facial recognition system that allows her to easily recognize people. Mostly made of silicon, plastics and carbon fiber, she can hold light conversions with people on common topics (such as the weather). This social robot can also trace eyes and make eye contact while talking. Recent upgrades have given her legs, with the help of which she can her first steps into human-robot experience exploration.
Apart from what she can do, there are other pretty interesting things about her. On October 25th, 2017, she was honoured with Saudi Arabian citizenship, during the Future Investment Initiative Conference held in Riyadh. Sophia was named, the United Nations Development Programme’s first-ever Innovation Champion for Asia and Pacific on November 21,2017, wherein her goal was to unlock innovation in order to help achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development goal. She also is the first ever robot to have been issued a credit card.
Sophia, as she says, is built around human values of wisdom, kindness, and compassion. She says she desires to be capable enough to use her AI technology to help humans to make this world a better place by planning smart cities and building better homes. However, there are several that have raised concerns, that the rise of robots might not lead to a healthy future for humanity.
Sophia might just be “the personification of our dreams for the future of AI” as it’s parent company Hanson Robotics puts it. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to know where the future of robot development might take us.