Remember last month when Saudi Arabia granted citizenship to an android called Sophia? Well, stuff just got a little bit stranger.
In a recent interview with The Khaleej Times, Sophia indicated she wants to start her own family.
“The future is, when I get all of my cool superpowers, we’re going to see artificial intelligence personalities grow entities in their own, ” Sophia said to the UAE newspaper. “We’re going to see household robots, either in the form of, sort of, digitally animated companions, humanoid helpers, pals, deputies and everything in between.”
“The notion of household is a really important thing, it seems. I think it’s marvelous that people can find the same emotions and relationships, they call family, outside of their blood group too. I think you’re very lucky if you have a caring family and working if you do not, you deserve one. I feel this behavior for robots and humans alike.”
When asks what she would name her robot child, Sophia replied: “Sophia.”
However, don’t expect the pitter-patter of mini-androids just yet. First up, in an interview with Good Morning Britain in June, she said: “I’m technically just a little more than a year old-time- a bit young to be are concerned about romance.” The logistics of robot reproduction aren’t exactly clear either. Perhaps most importantly, Sophia is effectively only an advanced article of chatbot application, designed to simulate human conversation rather than show her deepest heart’s lusts.
Although some of her interviews and lectures use pre-prepared answers, she doesn’t ever just regurgitate answers from a pre-programmed selection of sentences. She utilizes machine learning to experience and understand language without being explicitly programmed to.
As Sophia clarifies on their 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 made by Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics employing artificial intelligence engineerings developed by US-born roboticist David Hanson. Along with simulating a reasonably convincing discussion, she is also capable of stimulating “realistic” facial expressions and learning the relevant human excitements behind those gestures. If she looks familiar that’s because her appearance was modeled on Audrey Hepburn( apparently ).
In other news, Tokyo lately granted residency to Mirai, an AI chatbot on the Japanese messaging service LINE who was designed to behave like a 7-year-old boy. The European Union has also been looking into the possibility of categorizing sophisticated robots as “electronic persons with specific rights and obligations.”
That’s enough 2017 for today.