Sophia the Robot: “I Will Destroy Humans”

While most efforts are mired deep in the Uncanny Valley, roboticists remain determined to create lifelike human automatons. Sophia, the latest creation from Hanson Robotics, brings us one step closer to creating humanoid robots.

Sophia’s development team was led by Dr. David Hanson, who based the feminine android on an amalgam of his wife and Audrey Hepburn. Her skin is made from a unique silicon-based material and, thanks to the machinery in her artificial head, can replicate around 62 different facial expressions. If you ask Sophia, she will tell you that she was “born” on 19th April, 2015, the date of her activation.

“Our goal is that she will be as conscious, creative and capable as any human,” Hanson told CNBC. “We are designing these robots to serve in health care, therapy, education and customer service applications.”

“The artificial intelligence will evolve to the point where they will truly be our friends,” he added. “Not in ways that dehumanize us, but in ways the rehumanize us, that decrease the trend of the distance between people and instead connect us with people as well as with robots.”

Friends, unless instructed to destroy humanity, of course – a task to which Sophia gleefully agrees:

OK, so Sophia might not be the harbinger of our Judgement Day, but she is sure to achieve fame as the ultimate strange robot:

Reddit, Imgur and Twitch Join Forces as ‘Derp’ for Data Research

Some of the biggest names in social media have joined forces to form The Digital Ecologies Research Partnership (Derp). Somehow I doubt that acronym is a coincidence. Derp will grant academic researchers unprecedented access to their respective sites data allowing for groups at Harvard, MIT and McGill to promote “open, publicly accessible, and ethical academic inquiry into the vibrant social dynamics of the web”.

It came about “as a result of Imgur talking with a number of other community platforms online trying to learn about how they work with academic researchers,” says Tim Hwang, the image-sharing site’s head of special initiatives.

“In most cases, the data provided through Derp will already be accessible through public APIs,” he says. “Our belief is that there are ways of doing research better, and in a way that strongly respects user privacy and responsible use of data.

“Derp is an alliance of platforms that all believe strongly in this. In working with academic researchers, we support projects that meet institutional review at their home institution, and all research supported by Derp will be released openly and made publicly available.”

Derp will allow for a single point of contact for researchers to get in touch with the right people within each parent company of the group. This will allow research to progress faster and smoother, removing many of the hurdles that were previously in place when dealing with these companies.

It’ll likely be a while before we see the results of their work, but it’ll be interesting to see if they can come up with more than a database of the most popular cat memes by frequency of shares.

Thank you Guardian for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Guardian.