A couple of years ago it seemed that Artificial Intelligence is a part of a distant future, although it has been actively developed and researched for a couple of decades. Nowadays, even people who are not interested in the way technology works are aware that our computers can communicate with us and have started to conceptualize things better than ever.
AI is literally everywhere around us right now, but one robot has managed to stand out from the crowd. If you follow technology news, you have probably already been aware of Sophia the android. This is her story.
Who (What) Is Sophia?
First of all, Sophia is described as a humanoid robot, meaning that she resembles a human not only by the way she thinks but also by the way she looks. When you look at her face, you will not be able to tell the difference from another female human being (except that she doesn’t have hair). However, when she talks, her real nature comes to light. You can notice that she talks slower, makes unusual pauses in her talks, and has weird expressions that are somehow delayed from what she says.
Nevertheless, Sophia is a work of art that could be considered a masterpiece. At the moment, she is regarded as the most sophisticated and advanced AI product in the world.
Sophia was officially activated on February 16, 2016, when her manufacturer David Hanson turned her on. This moment could be considered her birthday.
What immediately made her different is that she had a human-like appearance, unlike all her predecessors that simply looked like robots. Her face was designed to resemble Audrey Hepburn, although a couple of improvements need to be done to make her look even more like a human being.
Sophia has visited many public events and has been interviewed on numerous occasions. While some of her replies to interviewers’ questions were brilliant, others were just pure nonsense, as she sometimes simply did not understand them.
In fact, Sophia has managed to become a superstar in a very short period, which is something most of us will never be able to achieve. She has even appeared in numerous talk shows including 60 Minutes, Good Morning Britain, and Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
AI is the underlying technology Sophia uses to communicate and co-exist with her human friends. She has two cameras in her eyes which enable her to turn on visual data processing and make sense of the world around her. Furthermore, Sophia uses facial recognition technology, such as the one found in many buildings as a security measure. However, Sophia simply uses it to… well, recognize faces and know with whom she converses. Finally, the robot uses voice recognition technology (speech-to-text) in order to communicate with her interlocutors.
The best thing about this android is that she will improve over time since her AI design helps her extract information, deduct patterns and apply them to her behavior and overall intelligence.