Sophia the Robot to make 1st public appearance in India


The first humanoid to get citizenship as a Saudi National, Sophia the Robot, will make her first public appearance in India at the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT), scheduled to take place in Hyderabad from February 19th.

WCIT is currently in its 22nd run. Suman Reddy, WCIT Hyderabad Ambassador told PTI, “We have Sophia, who has been making a lot of news in the recent past. The humanoid along with (its) inventor is going to be here”. Sophia’s looks bear similarity to that of legendary British actress Audrey Hepburn. The robot was created by Hanson Robotics based in Hong Kong, by a team of scientists led by American scientist David Hanson.

“The robot is constantly learning very quickly; every time it makes a public appearance, apparently it’s smarter than the previous time. So, that is going to be quite a draw as well,” added Reddy, who is the Managing Director of Pegasystems India. Last year, Sophia made her maiden trip to India for the TechFest organized by IIT Bombay in November.

According to sources, Sophia’s mechanism works on artificial intelligence, visual data processing and facial recognition. Sophia also imitates human gestures and facial expressions and is able to answer certain questions and to make simple conversations on predefined topics (e.g. on the weather). Sophia uses voice recognition technology from Alphabet Inc. (parent company of Google) and is designed to get smarter over time. Sophia’s intelligence software is designed by SingularityNET. The AI program analyses conversations and extracts data that allows her to improve responses in the future.

She also has Sophia has seven robot humanoid siblings, also created by Hanson Robotics – robots Alice, Albert Einstein Hubo, Bina48, Han, Jules, Professor Einstein, Philip K. Dick Android, Zeno, and Joey Chaotic.

WCIT-NILF 2018 will host around 22 sessions covering AI, blockchain, experience age, innovation, new globalisation and future of work, among others. Apart from several renowned officials from top global companies, the Sri Lankan and Armenian Prime Ministers are also expected to attend.