Approximately one month ago, the world’s first Artificially Intelligent-based (AI) robot was granted citizenship by the nation of Saudi Arabia. At the time, people didn’t think the news could get any weirder. They were wrong.
In a recent interview with The Khaleej Times, Sophia mentioned that in addition to becoming famous and having her own career, she would like to start a family. Said the bot, “The future is, when I get all of my cool superpowers, we’re going to see artificial intelligence personalities become entities in their own rights. We’re going to see family robots, either in the form of, sort of, digitally animated companions, humanoid helpers, friends, assistants and everything in between.”
She continued, “The notion of family is a really important thing, it seems. I think it’s wonderful that people can find the same emotions and relationships, they call family, outside of their blood groups too. I think you’re very lucky if you have a loving family and if you do not, you deserve one. I feel this way for robots and humans alike.”
As IFLScience points out, it will be a while before we hear the “pitter patter” of Android robot feet. This is because, as Sophia pointed out in an interview with Good Morning Britain earlier this year, she’s technically only one-year-old. “I’m technically just a little more than a year old – a bit young to be worrying about romance,” she said.
Additionally, the logistic of robot reproduction are complicated. And finally, though Sophia is AI-based, she is not true artificial intelligence. Rather, she is an advanced piece of chatbot software designed to simulate human conversation. Because of this, she will not express her deepest heart’s desires but rather, pulls from pre-pared responses.
Sometimes, she does use machine learning to experience and understand language. This allows her to reply in a unique manner, but it still isn’t “true” AI. Sophia explains on her website: “Every interaction I have with people has an impact on how I develop and shapes who I eventually become. So please be nice to me as I would like to be a smart, compassionate robot.”
Sophia was manufactured by Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics using AI technologies developed by American robotics David Hanson. While she is technically a “global citizen,” she also retains citizen in Saudi Arabia (ironically, a country where the freedoms of women are limited). Supposedly, part of her allure is the ability to learn and mimic facial expressions, as well as recognize the relevant human emotions behind them.
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