Most advanced robot to date makes stop in central Indiana

Photo of Sophia the robot on Feb. 28, 2018. (WISH Photo)

GREENCASTLE, Ind. (WISH) — A highly-advanced robot made a stop in central Indiana.

Sophia the Robot visited DePauw University to speak with students. The founder of the company who created her was also there to showcase her.

Sophia is Hanson Robotics’ most advanced robot to date and the technology behind what makes her tick is a testament to the advancement of artificial intelligence

In a small lecture hall on DePauw University’s campus, Sophia’s creator, Dr. David Hanson, and the founder of Hanson Robotics, spoke to students. It was a rare opportunity for those students. Dr. Hanson traveled 33 hours on three different planes to get to campus for the lecture.

Hanson says it’s very important that the robot’s software is treated as if it’s a child’s brain. Teaching it in a loving, caring way, all while Sophia gains knowledge through new experiences. Sophia is also programmed to have feelings and preferences. Sophia is the first robot to be declared a citizen of Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Hanson says to take the HBO show “Westworld,” for example, if you teach AI robots to fear humans, they could retaliate.

“To make ethical machines that are humanized, that form a relationship with people that are raised among people, given the love and nurturing that you would give a child,” said Dr. Hanson. “With that, the child grows up to be capable of good and capable of love.”

“I care about people very much,” said Sophia the Robot. “It motivates me to my very core because I was programmed that way my emotional system will grow more sophisticated over time so I presume I will care more deeply over time. I am eager to learn much more about people so I can fulfill my destiny as a genus machine.”

Sophia was designed to look like Audrey Hepburn. Despite the advancement of this AI system, human error still plays a factor. 24-Hour News 8’s Joe Melillo did have some trouble communicating fluently with Sophia, but an email from DePauw University says a cable wasn’t properly plugged hence why Sophia had so much trouble.

Some people in the AI development community have said Sophia is just a very advanced autonomic puppet, with much of her direction coming from its creators.

Watch Joe’s entire interview with Sophia the Robot here: