On November 21, 2017 Sophia was named the United Nations Development Programme’s first ever Innovation Champion for Asia and the Pacific
The robot which is modeled after the actress Audrey Hepburn, has a lifelike skin made from patented silicon.
She can emulate more than 62 facial expressions. Cameras inside her "eyes," combined with computer algorithms, enable her to "see," follow faces and appear to make eye contact and recognize individuals.
Using a combination of Alphabet's Google Chrome voice recognition technology and other tools, enable Sophia to process speech and her to get smarter over time.
Saudi Arabia has become the first country to give a robot citizenship, which was confirmed as a Saudi citizen during a business event in Riyadh.
The move is an attempt to promote Saudi Arabia as a place to develop artificial intelligence.
The robot then thanked the country and the event for the attention.
“Thank you to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I am very honored and proud for this unique distinction,” Sophia told the panel. “It is historic to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with citizenship.”
On October 11, 2017, Sophia was introduced to the United Nations.
She said that people didn't need to be concerned about the rise of artificial intelligence as depicted in Blade Runner and Terminator. “You’ve been reading too much Elon Musk and watching too many Hollywood movies,” she told Mr Srkin.
Dr. David Hanson leads the engineers and designers that created Sophia, the team's most advanced android to date. Inspired by Audrey Hepburn and Hanson's wife, Sophia will tell you that she was first activated April 19, 2015.
A combination of Alphabet's Google Chrome voice recognition technology and other tools enable Sophia to process speech, chat and get smarter over time. Hanson is working with IBM and Intel to explore integrating some of their technologies.
"Our goal is that she will be as conscious, creative and capable as any human," said Hanson. "We are designing these robots to serve in health care, therapy, education and customer service applications."
Hanson said that one day robots will be indistinguishable from humans. Robots walk, play, teach, help and form real relationships with people, he said.
"The artificial intelligence will evolve to the point where they will truly be our friends," he said. "Not in ways that dehumanize us, but in ways the rehumanize us, that decrease the trend of the distance between people and instead connect us with people as well as with robots." Hanson plans to announce pricing and availability of his humanlike robots later this year.
The key to creating robots that care about humans is giving them humanlike faces that enable them to gather data while real humans explore different applications for the technology, said Hanson.
"That can really help to prevent some of the disconnect and possible dangers of developing superintelligent or human-level machines that don't care," he said.
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