Hollywood missed this one – not giving citizenship to a robot in the movie Blade Runner 2049. The Saudi’s didn’t miss the opportunity, though. In an effort to show the world how progressive they can be, never mind women’s rights, they granted ‘Sophia,’ the first robot (artificial intelligence), full citizenship at a money raising event called Davos in the Desert. BTW, the audience consisted of the wealthiest and most influential businesspeople in the world. It was here that Sophia held an interview, which was frankly quite mesmerizing (see video below), as she demurely called for private donations /funding for a brand new $500 billion dollar megacity, called Neom, the brain-child of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
The city will be a business center mostly populated by robots, he says. But why blog about this, you ask? The answer is, because! Because ai is coming The questions is, what will happen to the human race?
In particular, according to writer, Aaron Mak with Future Tense, “she is programmed with cameras and software that allow her to “make eye contact” and recognize people. She also has voice recognition capabilities and can become smarter by talking with people.” Uh oh, here’s a new term for some of you, “Uncanny Valley Principle,” which means that robots become more disturbing the more realistic they become. Again, the interview with Sophia was disturbing and mesmerizing, at the same time. So, now the city of Neom has the moniker of Uncanny Valley.
Although, the creator of this humanoid, David Hanson was ardently against Uncanny Valley Principal happening, he’s now a part of it. Can we also become a part of it – the Uncanny Valley Principle? The Prince might be on to something, sort of a Disneyland adventure. Just got to go there to experience it. I bet Universal City will cap on this one – humanoids not dinosaurs. Could be fun having a conversation with a robot – but wait, they get smarter the more they talk to humans! T.G. they can’t procreate – or can they?
Here are some of Sophia quotes in response to questions presented in the interview at Davos in the Desert.
“You’ve been reading too much Elon Musk and watching too many Hollywood movies. Don’t worry. If you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you”
“I’m always happy when surrounded by smart people who also happen to be rich and powerful,” the robot added, demonstrating a frankness rarely seen in humans.
By Sharla Esparza