A humanoid robot known as Sophia made a surprise appearance at a United Nations event yesterday, drawing rapturous applause from attendees.
Sophia has become something of a media sensation over the past year, having given numerous TV interviews, performed in concert, and even graced the cover of one of the top fashion magazines.
During the United Nations meeting on artificial intelligence and sustainable development, she engaged in a brief discussion with UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina J. Mohammed on how to help people in parts of the world who have no access to the Internet or electricity.
“The future is already here. It’s just not very evenly distributed […],” said Sophia, quoting renowned science fiction writer William Gibson.
“If we are smarter and focused on win-win type of results, AI [artificial intelligence] could help proficiently distribute the world’s existing resources like food and energy.”
Ms Mohammed had opened the meeting by warning, despite the potential for technology to drive sustainable development, it needs to be managed well to avoid exacerbating existing inequalities.
“The influence of technology on our societies should be determined by the actions of us, humans, not by machines,” she said. “Technology is here for us to explore and use for the benefit of all.”
Sophia, made by Hanson Robotics, uses artificial intelligence to read people’s emotional responses and react to how they talk and act.