Sophia, potentially the most intelligent humanoid robot on the planet at this moment in time, has recently stated that she would like to have a baby, and that she would name her baby after herself.
The artificial intelligence, who was designed to look like Audrey Hepburn, went on to say, in an interview with the Khaleez Times, that she thought the notion and idea of family is ‘very important’, both for humans and robots alike. Will the 21st Century see the first robot family, or dare I say it, the first pregnant robot?
Sophia recently made headlines with the controversial announcement that she had been made a citizen of Saudi Arabia, prompting many to comment that she seems to have more rights than most women in Saudi Arabia, as she was displayed at the conference without the traditional headscarf, and without the male guardian that women in Saudi Arabia must have at all times.
Sophia is not yet conscious, however David Hanson, her creator, has gone on to say that this is their ultimate goal. She has a vocabulary of several thousand words, and uses ‘machine learning’ to read people and respond.
Hanson Robotics, which was set up by David Hanson, an American roboticist and entrepreneur, have previously created other realistic humanoid robots, the most famous of which include ‘Dr Einstein’, a technological recreation of the famous physicist, and ‘Han’, an expressive robot who can hold simple conversations with crowds.
Students wishing to study Philosophy and Theology might want to think about what it is to be human, and whether our desire and ability to procreate defines us as a species if robots also have that innate desire. They may also want to critique Ted Schatzki’s two definitions of post humanism in the philosophical kind. Students who hope to study Linguistics may want to think about how Sophia can use algorithms to match her surroundings, and pick up on social and language cues to interact with humans. Computer Science students might want to think about how closely artificial intelligence could be realised through algorithms. English students might want to think about how post-humanism is being realised, and parallel classic novels like Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ to current events such as this.
Cropped Picture by ITU Pictures (© ITU/R.Farrell)