Sophia The Robot — an Amazing Humanoid or a PR Stunt?


Sophia the robot has been displayed as an influential symbol. The mechatronics robot has secured its way beyond the late-night attention, glorified across the cover of magazines, headlined primary tech leagues, and also addressed United Nations. Sophia has been praised as the eventuality of AI, but it may be more of a social manifestation masquerading as a PR stunt.

The Mind Behind Sophia The Robot

To know Sophia, it’s essential to know its inventor, David Hanson. He’s the originator and CEO of Hanson Robotics, but he hasn’t perpetually been on top in the AI field.

Hanson has done BFA in film. He served Walt Disney as an “Imagineer,” forging models and robotic technologies for theme squares and then receiving his Ph.D. in aesthetic education. In 2005, he publishes a research article that set-up his concept and the assumptions for the prospect of robotics.

“Upending the Uncanny Valley” is an eight-page article. It’s Hanson’s criticism of the Uncanny Valley hypothesis that humans won’t prefer humanoids if they look pretty close to, but not precisely like individuals. In particular, the article states “uncanny” robots can help address the question of “what is human” and that there’s not much to squander by exploring humanoid bots.

According to Hanson, his organization is examining the “uncanny perspicacity outcomes both scientifically and artistically, using robots like Sophia.” Additionally, Hanson developed Sophia with the mentality that she is AI “in its infancy.” He wanted Sophia to be raised as artificial general intelligence or AGI. For him, it’s the formula for safe superintelligence.

Sophia the robot
Source: Instagram (realsophiarobot)

The Quest For Artificial General Intelligence 

If we talk about Sophia in terms of software, she was a platform, just like a laptop is a platform. You can install and run a lot of software on that same robot.

Sophia has three diverse command operations: 

  • Timeline Editor 
  • Sophisticated Chat System 
  • OpenCog

Timeline Editor is fundamentally an uninterrupted scripting program. The Sophisticated Chat System enables Sophia to choose and react to key terms and phrases. And OpenCog restricts Sophia’s responses in judgment and reasoning. This is the system they were hoping to develop into AGI.

However, the AI head of Facebook stated Sophia the robot is a “BS pawn.” In a Facebook article, Yann LeCun said Hanson’s team was a social puppeteer who is intentionally misleading the public.

The prime divers are accelerating the frontiers of what robots are capable of doing. From Honda to iRobots, corporations from all over the world are trying to design AI-powered humanoid robots. Now, it will be fun to see who will get there first.

Bot’s Principle And The Race To Become The Leader

The AI race appears to be unwinding beside the paths of Silicon Valley’s “move fast and break things” tagline. However, after Facebook’s disgrace with Cambridge Analytica, people are more enlightened of the prospective consequences of foolhardy tech development.

You can acknowledge, there is this fantasy following invention that is lodging in the practice of ML and robotics, and AI. Further, I think most of them who are working in this sector do not carry out their work that’s going to be fascinating to humanity. They see themselves as inventors.”

There’s a soaring wave of tech ethicists sanctifying their profession to assure AI and tech is promoted responsibly. First Technology and now robotics has reached more than just the research labs and tech cooperation of Silicon Valley.


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