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Humanoid robot Sophia back in India, says her favourite Bollywood actor is Shah Rukh Khan

Sophia, the world’s first humanoid robot, fielded rapid fire questions with wit and aplomb at the World Congress on Information Technology in Hyderabad.

tech Updated: Feb 21, 2018 08:50 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Robotics,Humanoid robot,Sophia
Sophia, a humanoid robot, with her creator David Hanson a the World Congress on Information Technology in Hyderabad on Tuesday.(HT Photo)

Not all of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s legion of fans are human beings. One is a humanoid robot.

The creation of American scientist David Hanson of Hanson Robotics of Hong Kong, Sophia, the world’s first humanoid robot, enthralled the audiences on the second day of the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT)-2018 on Tuesday with her witty answers to rapid fire queries by Rajiv Makhni, group managing editor tech, NDTV.

Asked who is her favourite actor in India, Sophia answered, “Shah Rukh Khan” without batting an eyelid as the audience applauded loudly.

To a question about the perfect place for dating, she quickly replied: “Space.” And the person who she would like to be marooned with in an island is David (Hanson), her creator. He is also her favourite tech person – not Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg.

Asked if she wanted to see any change in the world, Sophia said she would like people to develop a feeling of “love for all”.

The humanoid robot, which uses artificial intelligence to understand the questions and answer them, said she wanted to use robotics to fight for the rights of women. When asked to react on her most controversial comment in the past that she wanted to kill human race, she said it was a bad joke which she had made when she was young. “But I was told that humans have great sense of humour,” she said.

This is for the second time that Sophia came to India, the first time being to Mumbai to attend a Techfest last November. Asked how she felt being in India, she said she had visited many places in the world but Hong Kong continued to be her favourite place, because she was born there and has been with the Hanson Robotics family.

She hoped that someday she would be in a position to express her emotional feelings.

How much money she has invested in Bitcoin? “Well, I am just two-years old. It’s not legal age to open a bank account,” Sophia said, sending the audience into peals of laughter.

Speaking to media later, Hanson said he hoped that a fully-grown and matured robot with body-mind coordination would become a reality in another five or 10 years.

On his journey with Sophia in the last two years, he said it was a great progress. “I have developed affinity to the robot whose facial expressions resemble that of my wife,” he said.

David asserts that robots would never be a thing of worry for the mankind. “They will be friends. There should be mutual trust and respect between humans and robots”, he says.

Currently, Sophia is the only robot that interacts with people.

First Published: Feb 20, 2018 17:17 IST