Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Sophia’s creator Hanson urges Bangladesh to help build ‘positive’ future with AI

  • Shamim Ahamed,
    Published: 2017-12-07 03:14:47 BdST


The creator of world's first robot citizen Sophia, David Hanson, has urged Bangladeshis to help the world build a ‘beneficial and positive’ future with artificial intelligence.

“So it’s very humbling to me to receive such attention, and I appreciate this. We have more work to do,” Dr Hanson said to a cheering crowd of mostly youths at Digital World, the annual ICT expo of Bangladesh on Wednesday.    

Sophia, wearing a yellow-white Jamdani dress, was also onstage at the event, Tech-Talk with Sophia, at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka, smiling as her creator was speaking. 

“The next five years, I believe, we’ll see moving intelligence machines walking among us. Sophia will be our friend. And we have a choice of how we are going to make this future,” Hanson said.

“So I ask you to help build with me and with the rest of the world build a positive future with these living, intelligent machines,” he added.

Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics Ltd made Sophia, a human-like robot with remarkable expressiveness, liveliness, and interactivity.

Sophia became the world’s first robot citizen after receiving Saudi citizenship in October this year.

Syed Gousul Alam Shaon, Managing Director of Grey Advertising Ltd, moderated the event.

Speaking to Hanson, when Shaon said it was a bit chaotic in the hall as people were excited to see him and Sophia, Hanson replied, “Wonderful! I really appreciate that interest in my work.”

“I am pleased to announce that we have released all of our software open source so that the people of Bangladesh can develop with our platform and use our software such as the AI in Sophia which I hope help your lives and help the world.

“We are always moving into the future, and we have to visualise a beneficial future as we invent new technologies that can help people.

“And also technologies of our time make the world more complicated. I feel we need to humanise the technologies. We need to make them understand us and be meaningful in our lives.

“So technologies of robots like Sophia and the artificial intelligence we are developing are designed for empathy. And if we can realise empathetic machines, true living machines, then it will change all history,” Hanson said. 

He also said he built his first humanoid robot 23 years ago.

At the programme, Sophia enthralled the audience with her intelligent conversations with people, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.