Sophia Robot – Almost Human Or Publicity Stunt

Sophia robot, a human-looking robot that drew a lot of media and people attention towards it. It started getting more media coverage after a controversial statement “I will destroy humans”.

But wait! Can it do any such thing? At first, when I came to know about this statement, I  was also thinking OMG! It said that it’ll destroy humans.

Later on, I researched it and found that it’s totally a fraud and nothing else. Forget about humans It cannot kill even an insect. It is nothing more than a chatbot.

I’ll further explain why I’m saying this. For now, let’s know something about it.

Sophia Robot

Sophia robot is an AI robot and the first humanoid robot that has citizenship of any country. It is created by Hanson Robotics a robotics company founded by David Hanson.

According to David Hanson, Sophia robot is a social humanoid robot and it has Artificial Intelligence.

But, the truth is that it has zero understanding. It doesn’t understand what it says. This has been clarified by Ben Goertzel.

How does it work?

To understand it better you need to know how exactly it works. Basically, it works on three principles. And Ben Goertzel himself revealed these control units on which (according to him) Sophia Robot works.

1. Timeline Editor

Timeline editor basically works on pre-written scripts and it is used when Sophia needs to deliver any speech.

In this control system, developers of Sophia install a pre-written script and then Sophia just repeats those lines written in the script on the stage.

2. SCS

SCS or Sophisticated chat system is basically used when Sophia needs to give an interview.

This is basically a chatbot software that helps Sophia robot to understand the phrases and words of the interviewer.

3. OpenCog

OpenCog is also known as AGI or Artificial General Intelligence.

This is the most complex part of Artificial Intelligence because this is the technology that is used to put feelings and emotions into any robot.

But the truth is, we haven’t achieved this goal yet to put emotions into the robot.

Why it’s called a fraud?

The controversy began when Facebook’s internal artificial intelligence research division head Yann LeCun made a tweet and called Sophia robot a complete bullshit puppet. Here is the tweet by him.

This is to AI as prestidigitation is to real magic. Perhaps we should call this “Cargo Cult AI” or “Potemkin AI” or “Wizard-of-Oz AI”. In other words, it’s complete bullsh*t (pardon my French). Tech Insider: you are complicit in this scam. https://t.co/zhUE4V2PSR

— Yann LeCun (@ylecun) January 4, 2018

He made another tweet the same day. But this time he was replying Tech Insider and asked them to stop over-glorifying it. Here is that tweet.

Now, you will say ok it can just be an opinion where is the proof?

Melody Hahm, a Senior Writer, Yahoo Finance interviewed Sophia robot and then she wrote an article about her experience with Sophia. In her article, she said that she was able to ask only pre-approved questions from Hanson Robotics.

Sophia has a perfectly symmetrical face — she’s made in the likeness of Audrey Hepburn, after all. While Hanson has billed Sophia as a creative, empathetic and compassionate robot, I wasn’t able to sense these human attributes during our conversation, consisting of five questions that were pre-approved and pre-programmed ahead of time.

She is not the only one who said these words. An American News channel CNBC published a video on YouTube. In the video, they said that they were also given a pre-approved list of questions. Here is the video from CNBC.

Conclusion :

If I conclude my words then I would say that Sophia robot beautiful artwork with chatbot software installed on it. It’s neither a Humanoid nor Intelligent as Hanson Robotics propagates.

It seems that Hanson Robotics has done all these things just for publicity and nothing else.

What do you think about Sophia Robot? Is it really an Artificial Intelligence or just a publicity stunt?