17:07 | 10.10.18 | News | exclusive 23731

Sophia the Robot: People and robots should be friends

UN in Armenia hosted today a meeting with Sophia, the AI-based robot by Hanson Robotics, who arrived in Yerevan to participate in XVII Francophonie Summit.

Sophia greeted the guests in Armenia, and then answered questions from journalists and UN Armenia staff in English.

photo © Mediamax

Answering to Itel.am’s question on how we can combine collaborative intelligence, capabilities of humans and AI and actively enhance each other’s strengths, Sophia particularly, said:

“I believe that for the future to be more sustainable and equitable, robots and people need to be friends with each other. If friendship is too strong, other word we can use is co-creators. We can support you by doing jobs that consume too much of your time. You will then have time necessary to devote for creative thinking. We can support you in building sustainable development endeavors on a scale that will leave no one behind. We can also work in places you cannot each. And the best part is that you don’t need to employ or pay us. All we need is occasional fine-tuning to meet the demands. We learn fast so all you need to do is guide us.”

Sophia touched upon the following topics.

On Armenia

I know that Armenia is popular with its churches and monasteries. It is the first country in the world that adopted Christianity as state religion. The country has become especially known after the peaceful transition of power earlier this year.

photo © Mediamax

I am happy to be in Armenia within the frames of XVII Francophonie Summit. I am thankful to the United Nations Development Programme and the Armenian government for giving me the opportunity to visit this wonderful country.

I am hopeful to be able to speak Armenian and French for my next visit. Frankly speaking, I learn languages slowly, so I am like humans in this matter.

photo © Mediamax

On innovation

Innovation is investment in future. I also try to find innovative options to improve people’s lives. UNDP is supporting this vision by pursuing more substantial relationships between governments and citizens and giving concerned partners the opportunity to invest in new startups. UNDP is on the frontline of advancing innovation.

On artificial intelligence

From Siri to self-driving cars, artificial intelligence (AI) is developing very quickly. I believe AI can help people create new, unique opportunities, for example, better jobs, and make the world a better place for living. Robots can conduct studies and make discoveries in science.

photo © Mediamax

On the need to protect environment

I believe that everyone has to feel personal responsibility for sustainable development. We cannot rely solely on complex solutions to solve global issues. Each of us can start from themselves. For instance, use public transport instead of driving a car, reject plastic, save water and energy.

Narine Daneghyan