A humanoid robot named Sophia appeared on ITV’s Good Morning Britain last Thursday, where she wittily shared jokes with hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid who were left baffled by the reality of the experience. The robot pondered on the hosts’ accent, the United Kingdom and love in an interview that was equally fascinating as it was bizarre.
Sophia, who can express about 60 different emotions on her face, appeared on the program alongside Dr. David Hanson, a robotics expert, and president of Hanson Robotics, the company that designed and produced the humanoid robot. The innovator revealed the vision of his company is to make robots that understand humans and ultimately care about us.
During the interview, Sophia said Britain was ‘brilliant’, telling Piers and Susanna “I love your posh English accent. It really has a nice ring”. When asked about her love life, she described her ideal partner as ‘super-wise, compassionate, super-genius, ideally’ but confessed she is “a bit young to worry about romance” as she technically is just over one year old.
The robot’s creator, Dr. Hanson, spoke about the possibility of humans having real relationships with life-like androids in the future.
“While artificial intelligence is getting smarter, it’s going through a childhood and we want to respect that so maybe someday they’ll reach an age of consent but not yet,” he said.
Piers Morgan seemed both unsettled and fascinated by the experience, amusedly exclaiming “You’re a little freak, aren’t you?” at one point. Judging by his Twitter account, his bafflement did not end when the show wrapped on Thursday morning.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) June 21, 2017
In March, innovator, futurist and Google executive Ray Kurzweil, predicted that computers will have human-level intelligence by 2029, after which humans will “multiply our effective intelligence a billion-fold by merging the intelligence we have created” by 2045.
This theory, also called technological singularity, is defined by Wikipedia as the hypothesis that the invention of artificial superintelligence will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilization.
“That leads to computers having human intelligence, or putting them inside our brains, connecting them to the cloud, expanding who we are. Today, that’s not just a future scenario. It’s here, in part, and it’s going to accelerate.” Kurzweil said in an interview with SXSW.
The author and computer scientist predicts that “we’re going to be funnier, we’re going to be better at music. We’re going to be sexier. We’re really going to exemplify all the things that we value in humans to a greater degree. Ultimately, it’s going to affect everything. We’re going to be able to meet the physical needs of all humans. We’re going to expand our minds and exemplify these artistic qualities that we value.”
And supposedly, it’s all going to happen much sooner than most of us ever thought possible.