SOPHIA KSA CITIZEN ROBOT
Sophia is a humanoid robot developed by Hong Kong-based company Hanson Robotics. It has been designed to play back scripted responses to questions, and has been “interviewed” around the world. In October 2017, the robot became a Saudi Arabian citizen, the first robot to receive citizenship of a country.
Sophia was activated on April 19, 2015. The robot is modeled after actress Audrey Hepburn,and is known for its human-like appearance and behavior compared to previous robotic variants. According to the manufacturer, David Hanson, Sophia uses artificial intelligence, visual data processing and facial recognition. Sophia also imitates human gestures and facial expressions and is able to answer certain questions and to make simple conversations on predefined topics (e.g. on the weather). The robot uses voice recognition technology from Alphabet Inc. (parent company of Google) and is designed to get smarter over time. Sophia’s intelligence software is designed by SingularityNET. The AI program analyses conversations and extracts data that allows it to improve responses in the future.It is conceptually similar to the computer program ELIZA, which was one of the first attempts at simulating a human conversation.
Hanson designed Sophia to be a suitable companion for the elderly at nursing homes, or to help crowds at large events or parks. He hopes that the robot can ultimately interact with other humans sufficiently to gain social skills.
The robot is programmed to give pre-written responses to specific questions or phrases, similar to a chatbot. These scripted responses are used to create the illusion that the robot is able to understand conversation. The software is also capable of answering simple questions like “Is the door open or shut
Goertzel says Sophia is more of a user-interface than a human being—meaning it can be programmed to run different code for different situations. Typically, Sophia’s software can be broken down into three configurations:
- A research platform for the team’s AI research. Sophia doesn’t have witty pre-written responses here, but can answer simple questions like “Who are you looking at?” or “Is the door open or shut?”
- A speech-reciting robot. Goertzel says that Sophia can be pre-loaded with text that it’ll speak, and then use machine learning to match facial expressions and pauses to the text.
- A robotic chatbot. Sophia also sometimes runs a dialogue system, where it can look at people, listen to what they say, and choose a pre-written response based on what the person said, and other factors gathered from the internet like cryptocurrency price.