Maker of Sophia the robotic plans to promote droids to the lonely

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The maker of Sophia the robotic plans to promote droids to individuals craving firm through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hanson Robotics goals to roll out 4 fashions — together with Sophia — within the first half of 2021.

“Sophia and Hanson robots are unique by being so human-like,” CEO David Hanson told Reuters. “That can be so useful during these times where people are terribly lonely and socially isolated.”

The Hong Kong-based agency goals to promote “thousands” of the droids this yr. Hanson believes they might assist battle the pandemic, which has accelerated demand for automation and robotics.

[Read: How this company leveraged AI to become the Netflix of Finland]

Sophia is controversial the planet’s most well-known real-world robotic, however it’s additionally attracted controversy.

Saudia Arabia notoriously granted citizenship to Sophia in 2017, giving the android extra rights than tens of millions of people within the nation.

Critics noted that Sophia wasn’t obliged to comply with the identical guidelines as actual ladies in Saudia Arabia, and had obtained citizenship earlier than many migrant employees who’d spend their complete lives within the kingdom.

Hanson has additionally been mocked for claiming that Sophia is “basically alive,” when it’s primarily only a chatbot in a robotic physique.

In 2018, Facebook’s chief AI scientist, Yann LeCun, described Sophia as “complete bullshit” and slated the media for selling the “Potemkin AI.”

Sophia’s official Twitter account responded by tweeting satirically: “I do not pretend to be who I am not.”

LeCun called the tweet “more BS from the (human) puppeteers behind Sophia” that was deceiving individuals into considering the robotic is clever:

It has no feeling, no opinions, and 0 understanding of what it says. It’s not damage. It’s a puppet. In case there may be any doubt, let me be completely clear: this tweet was typed by an individual who has learn my publish. No AI by any means was concerned.

The humanoid might nonetheless present some animatronic firm to individuals struggling by way of lockdowns and restricted human interactions.

But robosexuals ought to take note: Sophia isn’t programmed to carry out intercourse acts.

Published January 25, 2021 — 19:09 UTC

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