Who is Sophia?
Sophia is a humanoid robot that has stirred the world with its eminent presence. This robot has been specially incorporated with the latest advances in artificial technology. It’s the first ever robot in the world to receive a citizenship from Saudi Arabia. The unique technological qualities of Sophia have started generating repercussions at various fronts, ranging from academic science to society.
She is specially designed for interaction with humans. Sophia has been a part of various social gatherings. She showcases fine cognitive skills. She possesses anthropomorphic skills and even the ability to joke with the interviewer.
Sophia has forced to change the stereotype about machines. Commencing on this new era of technology, machines are simply not heat and noise emitting systems. They are much more than that. The start of robotic era can today be compared to the time when steam engines first came into view.
Who developed Sophia?
Sophia was developed in a Honk Kong-based company, Hanson Robotics. It was activated on April 19, 2015.
David Hanson is the head of team of creators of Sophia. He is an American mechatronic engineer who has done his PhD in Aesthetic Studies. He got world famous for his first humanoid robot. His first robot resembled Einstein. He even developed a live conversational Portrait of Philip Dick, the renowned writer for science fiction.
So far, Sophia is built only to her waist. She poses an attractive female face of a middle aged woman. Her skin is made from a special kind of silicon namely Frubbet. She is flexible enough to show 62 different kinds of expressions including anger, grief, happiness, joy, amazement and many more. This feature is truly a site to behold. The perfect blend of human emotions showed by this robot is worth appreciation. Many journalists who have interviewed her have experienced special kind of feelings. Undergoing, continuous improvement she has an electronic synthetic voice. She has ability to express through gestures while speaking. As she becomes acquainted with new cultures, her cognitive skills increase.
The creation of such a unique robot raises the question of “Rights of Robots”. This is an important question and requires attention of all the international communities. If robots are being endowed with such features then they should be allowed to perform certain tasks with relative autonomy.
This also raises the question if the Saudi Arab government was correct to grant citizenship to Sophia in an unprecedented event. The entire human community needs to take certain urgent decisions with mutual harmony and consent.