SEOUL, JAN. 31 (Korea Bizwire) — A life-like AI robot captivated a South Korean audience at a technology conference on Tuesday in Seoul with its convincing appearance and proficient communication skills.
Sophia, the world’s first artificial intelligence robot, made a first public appearance in South Korea yesterday at a forum held by the Artificial Intelligence Industry Association, wearing a hanbok, traditional Korean attire.
The famous AI robot spoke English during a panel talk hosted by lawmaker Park Young-sun from the Democratic Party of Korea.
During the event, Sophia showed of her limited Korean language abilities, saying “annyeong haseyo” (hello) and “kamsahamnida” (thank-you), while answering questions in English in a natural manner.
Sophia discussed a number of topics with Kim, including the future of robotics and AI as well as current issues in South Korea.
Putting a smile on between responses, and staring at the audience for emphasis, the robot’s strong command of human interaction manners impressed the audience.
David Hanson, the CEO of Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics, says that Sophia is a new interface and a new genre of AI, and he hopes to give her the ability to have a conversation in a natural manner like other AI platforms such as Bixby, Cortana, and Siri.
Kim, who interviewed Sophia, has said that South Korean society’s acceptance of the generalization of robots and the way in which it deals with various related issues will decide the country’s position in leading the 21th century, while urging for more efforts to connect different types of technology.
As robots are set to take on an increasingly important role in society, a multitude of societal and ethical issues are expected to emerge, such as automation taking over human jobs, or self-driving cars being held accountable for accidents.
Opinions on Sophia’s appearance were mixed online when images of the AI robot were released the day before, with some finding the humanlike robot ‘scary’ or ‘ominous’, supporting the uncanny valley theory that people have a negative reaction to objects that resemble humans too convincingly.
Created by AI developer Hanson, the life-like robot enjoyed her fair share of media coverage on the world stage, having been on the cover of fashion magazines and becoming the first robot to be granted citizenship last year, in Saudi Arabia.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)