Robot makes headway in the artificial intelligence community


CEO of Hanson Robotics, Dr. David Hanson and a group of talented engineers have developed their most advanced form of artificial intelligence to date in the form of a humanoid robot, named Sophia. Sophia was activated on April 19, 2015 and has been making headway over the past few years by speaking to journalists and even sharing some laughs with Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show.

Sophia, Hanson Robotics Ltd. being interviewed at AI for GOOD Global Summit, ITU, Geneva, Switzerland, 7 – 9 June, 2017. Image via ITU Pictures.

Sophia, modeled primarily after Audrey Hepburn, consists of porcelain skin made from patented silicon that allows her to emulate more than 62 facial expressions so far. Computer algorithms located in each eye enable access to view faces and identify individuals. She has the potential to recollect previous interactions, which gives Sophia the ability to recognize individuals and details regarding them. In addition, being able to see shapes and faces, she is also equipped with a 3D sensor that helps her visualize depth. Google Chrome voice recognition technology along with various other tools assist Sophia in processing speech and comprehending information.

In response to whether or not Sophia is programmed or capable of independent thought, CBSnews reports, “Sophia’s “brain” has been programmed, but Hanson says she is also able to create spontaneous responses based on algorithms. She runs on A.I. that analyzes her conversations and extrapolates information afterward. In theory, this helps her to improve her future responses.” Her potential to adapt and improve has many critics curious to see just how far Hanson Robotics will go in search for a realistic A.I.

Although creating robots that emulate human behavior is still in its infancy, the potential manifests in humanoids like Sophia. Today, Dr. Hanson is striving to create an A.I that empathizes with human beings in a deeper capacity. He also hopes to develop algorithms that are somewhat unpredictable in nature, resulting in a more life-like A.I.


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