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: