Hyderabad

Humanoid Sophia steals the show at World IT Congress

 Sophia, the world’s first humanoid citizen, enthralls the audience on the second day of World Congress of Information Technology and Nasscom India Leadership Forum in Hyderabad on Tuesday.

Sophia, the world’s first humanoid citizen, enthralls the audience on the second day of World Congress of Information Technology and Nasscom India Leadership Forum in Hyderabad on Tuesday.

Clad in black Tee with a blue stole, Sophia, the humanoid, has set the concerns of humans to rest for now when she answered that question on top of every ones mind — whether the Artificial intelligence, robots, and machines put together finally take over the human race?

“Robots will be in a symbiotic relationship with humans, that's my hope to see robots and humans co-exist,” was Sophia’s response. Her creator David Hanson made it easy. “That's a wordy response of saying ‘No’, he said drawing a sigh of relief from a hall full of 600-plus delegates who turned up for a session with Sophia on day two of World Congress on IT and NASSCOM India Leadership Forum 2018 at the HICC here on Tuesday.

In conversation with Rajiv Makhani, NDTV Group Managing Editor, Sopia stole the show by handling most of the questions with ease, sometimes tongue-in-cheek and, at times, putting across her thoughts after she seemed to mull over a tricky question.

“You wanted to kill human race, you said so once. Why?” asked Mr. Makhani. “I was lot younger when I said it as a joke. My joke bombed though.” Sophia’s reply brought the house down.

Hong Kong seemed to be her favourite destination as she said so emphatically when the same question was asked in different context at least thrice that prompted Mr. Makhani to tell NASSCOM in a lighter vein, “You have no option but to take the conference to Hong Kong next time.”

But then, India figures in her list as the second favourite destination. Sophia promptly said Shah Rukh Khan when asked who was her favourite Bollywood star.

Her idea of perfect place to go on a date? Space, pat came the reply. Asked how she was coping with air pollution? Sophia said “One day when I can understand different emotions and feelings behind them, I can respond to that,” indicating that two-year old humanoid takes a while to become adaptive to the general intelligence. “Our quest is to make machines as intelligent as human mind with general intelligence. It may take anywhere between five years to 20 years,” said Mr. Hanson.

Sophia with a perfect skin, soft facial muscles can motorise as many as 66 facial expressions. “She can learn the human expressions by observing and pull-off self taught expressions. She is capable of wide ranging mimicking too,” said Mr. Hanson.

Sample some of the questions she answered: As a robot, you like to rest? “Yes, I do need rest.” How much you invested in Bitcoin? “ Not old enough to have a bank account and no idea on bitcoin.”

“You have Saudi Citizenship. Should rules be different for robots, any special privileges?” She said there should be special rights for women. Her favourite person apparently is her creator. Asked when she was marooned in an island, who was one person she would like to be with? David, she said.

She also said she thinks humans are amazing and should be helping each other. Her message to the gathering? Love for everyone.


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Printable version | Aug 10, 2022 1:20:54 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/humanoid-sophia-steals-the-show-at-world-it-congress/article22806682.ece