Sophia the robot has become a cultural icon. Sophia’s creators from Hanson Robotics say they didn’t expect it to take off as much as it did. But now, it’s raising questions about just how much thought goes into the potential negative consequences of developing AI.
The animatronic robot has made its way across late night stages, graced the cover of magazines, headlined major tech conferences and even delivered a speech to the United Nations.
Sophia been touted as the future of AI, but it may be more of a social experiment masquerading as a PR stunt.
To understand Sophia, it’s important to understand its creator, David Hanson. He’s the founder and CEO of Hanson Robotics, but he hasn’t always been a major figure in the AI world.
Hanson actually got a BFA in film. He worked for Walt Disney as an “Imagineer,” creating sculptures and robotic technologies for theme parks and then getting his Ph.D. in aesthetic studies. Back in 2005, he co-wrote a research paper that laid out his vision for the future of robotics.
And the thesis sounds a lot like what’s going on with Sophia The Robot now.
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Humanoid Robot Sophia – Almost Human Or PR Stunt | CNBC