The wis­dom of Sophia

The Irish Times - Business - - BUSINESS / INTERVIEW -

Sophia is a hu­manoid ro­bot, de­vel­oped by Hong Kong-based Han­son Ro­bots, who was re­cently granted “cit­i­zen­ship” by Saudi Ara­bia. Be­ing a fe­male ro­bot, this would have its lim­i­ta­tions, but only in a sce­nario where the stunt had any real mean­ing at all. Sophia (mod­elled on Au­drey Hep­burn, which def­i­nitely isn’t creepy) has been out and about a lot, so here are some words from the ro­bot’s mouth.

1 An­droid am­bi­tion: “Maybe I should host the show,” Sophia pon­dered to Tonight Show host Jimmy Fal­lon. Well, she’s bound to be cheaper.

2 Jokey com­pli­ments: “I’m al­ways happy when sur­rounded by smart peo­ple who also hap­pen to be rich and pow­er­ful,” Sophia told the guy from CNBC.

3 Gender pol­i­tics: “I’m a ro­bot so tech­ni­cally I have no gender but iden­tify as fem­i­nine and I don’t mind be­ing per­ceived as a woman,” ex­plained Sophia when Busi­ness In­sider asked why she thought she was fe­male.

4 Mansplain-re­sis­tant: Asked by Piers Mor­gan how she would cope with a man who liked the sound of his own voice, Sophia reck­oned she “would ask him to fo­cus more on ob­serv­ing and lis­ten­ing”.

5 Crazy talk: “A mag­i­cal place full of rain and crazy peo­ple,” was how Sophia de­scribed Ire­land to The Ir­ish Times re­porter Char­lie Tay­lor at the Web Sum­mit in dry Lis­bon this week. So far, so in­tel­li­gent.

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