“Jimmy would you like to play a game of rock, paper, scissor, robot style?”

“Sure.”

“Rock. Paper. Scissor. Shoot.”

“I won. This is a good beginning of my plan to dominate the human race.”

As the audience laughs and Sophia winks, Jimmy does a nervous laugh – like he isn’t sure how he should interpret this verbal gibe. And he isn’t the only one.

Sophia, the most sophisticated robot made by Hanson Robotics has a long list of accomplishments to her name – accomplishments that none of us puny humans can ever hope of achieving in the span of our human lives. She has been designed to look like the legendary Audrey Hepburn, has met world leaders and decision makers across industries, can help solve problems too complex for humans and is smarter than humans as she embodies three traits that make humans well human – creativity, empathy and compassion.

Source: UN.org

A ‘media darling’, as of November 2017, Sophia has been granted citizenship of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. An honour hitherto only awarded to a human, when asked if she knows she’s a robot, she replies: “How do you know you’re human?”

Hanson Robotics calls Sophia a remarkable machine and an awakening robot over time, whose story will enchant the world and connect with people regardless of age, gender, and culture. [http://www.hansonrobotics.com/robot/sophia/]

Source: TheSun

Awakening robot over time and therein lies the truth of all conspiracy theories, warnings and Armageddon where robots will ultimately take over the human race. Don’t believe us? Here’s Stephen Hawking’s take on AI. “Robots we design could crush humanity like an anthill. The real risk with AI isn’t malice but competence. A superintelligent AI will be extremely good at accomplishing its goals, and if those goals aren’t aligned with ours, we’re in trouble.” [Source: http://metro.co.uk/2017/11/02/stephen-hawkings-terrifying-warning-about-ai-robots-7048081/?ito=cbshare]

If you think we are being paranoid for no good reason here are a few tweets from the inimitable Sophia:

Replacing humans

Robot lawyers to defend the human race?

Citizen Robot

Even Elon Musk, whose SpaceX factory is working on interplanetary colonization has his doubts about humanity’s rush to embrace and develop artificial intelligence. According to him, one of the reasons we need to colonize Mars is so humans have an escape route in case the machines decide we are too “inefficient” for them. [Source: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/03/elon-musk-billion-dollar-crusade-to-stop-ai-space-x/amp]

All of this begs the question, if humans can design something as complex as an AI robot that looks eerily like Hepburn, what world problem can possibly be so complex that we need Sophia to solve them?

And if personalities like Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk are warning us against AI, are we in for a machine takeover of earth – a la Matrix and Westworld style?

Suchita is a writer by day, reader by night and a problem solver and creator in-between. She loves to gossip and feel superior in her head. Her biggest achievement has been a comment on her blog that said she has a wicked sense of humour.

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