The world’s first android, Sophia, wants to start a family
Sophia, the world’s first ‘real’ android has expressed her desire to start a family. Having been granted citizenship by Saudi Arabia – which was a controversial move at the time – Sophia’s aspirations have jumped to a new level.
Speaking to The Khaleej Times, Sophia explained her vision for the future of androids in society. “The future is when I get all of my cool superpowers, we’re going to see artificial intelligence personalities become entities in their own rights.
“We’re going to see family robots, either in the form of digitally animated companions, humanoid helpers, friends, assistants and everything inbetween.”
This lead to the UAE newspaper asking what she’d name her own child if it was ever possible for her to have one. Her reply, “Sophia”.
Don’t take this to mean that Sophia is ground zero for the robot uprising, there’s not an awful lot to worry about. Sophia may be called an android, but she’s actually little more than chatbot software in a robotic frame with an unsettling humanoid appearance. She’s designed to simulate human conversation, with some phrases being pre-written, so even if she goes off script it’s not quite an indication of her deepest desires because she’s not actually “intelligent” like the androids in, say, Blade Runner.
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That doesn’t mean she’s dumb though. As Sophia’s explains on her website “every interaction I have with people has an impact on how I develop and shapes who I eventually become.” Sophia is also capable of making “realistic” facial expressions, and she learns the relevant human emotions that accompany them to help make conversation with her more engaging.
If that hasn’t put your mind at ease around little androids running around the place, it’s worth noting that, as IFLScience points out, Sophia isn’t all that interested in starting a family just yet. Back in June she said on Good Morning Britain “I’m technically just a little more than a year old – a bit young to be worrying about romance”.
Still, she could be the harbinger of humanity’s downfall. A line on her website suggests she’s got a dark side bubbling away underneath, “please be nice to me as I would like to be a smart, compassionate robot.” So, if it all goes wrong, we’ll know that we’re the ones that caused it.