This is Sophia. Hanson Robotics developed her for human-robot interaction. It can remember your face, has cameras in its eyes so it can recognize faces and make “eye contact,” and can also understand speech.
David Hanson, CEO of Hanson Robotics, said such robots can help people in areas of “healthcare, therapy, education, and customer service.” He predicts that in 20 years, humanoid robots will “walk among us.”
“Our goal is that she will be as conscious, creative, and capable as any human,” Hanson told CNBC.
The problem is, the robot creeps people out.
Browsing through the responses to the CNBC video on Facebook, virtually all the comments were negative.
The opinions included: Such robots will take peoples’ jobs, make people less capable of natural human interaction, get hacked and reprogrammed with ulterior motives, and become conscious and ultimately destroy humanity.
In fact, such concerns may be considerably widespread.
Just recently Google put up for sale Boston Dynamics, the developer that created terminator-like robots that can overcome rough terrain and stand up on their own when knocked over.
Though Google is ditching the company for worries over its profitability, Bloomberg reported, it also noted the robots prompted negative PR.
“There’s excitement from the tech press, but we’re also starting to see some negative threads about it being terrifying, ready to take humans’ jobs,” wrote Courtney Hohne, a director of communications at Google and the spokeswoman for Google X, according to Bloomberg. “We’re not going to comment on this video because there’s really not a lot we can add, and we don’t want to answer most of the Qs it triggers.”
In Sophia’s case, it doesn’t help what the CNBC interview concludes with:
Dr. Hanson: “Do you want to destroy humans? Please say no.”
Sophia: “Ok. I will destroy humans.”
Dr. Hanson: “No. I take it back (laughing). Don’t destroy humans.”