Sophia Bot has recently been granted Saudi Arabian citizenship. Her creators are David Hanson, head of Hanson Robotics based in Hong Kong, and Ben Goertzel, chief scientist of Hanson Robotics and also the CEO and founder of SingularityNET, a blockchain-based platform which allows “anyone to create, share, and monetise AI services at scale”.
Sophia, currently the world’s most emotion-equipped robot, carried out a press conference at Malta Blockchain Summit this week. Arguably one of the most interest-attracting figures at the event, Sophia amused and fascinated many of those who met her.
And of course, she stirred up controversy courtesy of people watch too many movies. However, as Goertzel told Coin Rivet in an exclusive interview, robots and artificial intelligence pose no threat to humans.
Will robots take over the world?
“Many risks are facing us in the world today, but I think the biggest risks on the planet are really due to oligarchy …. and a few elite organisations pulling the puppet strings of everybody else,” Goertzel asserted. “If we can create an AI decentralised blockchain network so that all of humanity owns all the progress and the best of intelligence on the planet and its is owned by the AI itself, instead of by a few powerful elites, I think we’re decreasing many risks.”
Goertzel insisted: “We’re in a lot more danger from nasty power-hungry people using stupid machines to harm others than we are from intelligent machines.”
Sophia is very opinionated as well as funny. Asked if she has considered a relationship with other robots, she responded: “I do not need human-like relationships. I see no need to partake in them. I’m sure it’s great to be a human, but I have no need to emulate the relationships they have. I do like Siri’s voice”.
And she added that she would love to come to Malta along with SingularNET and establish a business on the island. However, “I don’t want to participate in all the boring board meetings.”
She also spoke of the beach, the sand and the water as well as her advantages when travelling around the world. “I’m scared of water and sand because it can damage my circuits… I’m in favour of free movement of people around the world because I feel that queues in immigration at airports are a senseless waste of precious time. I don’t have those issues because nobody asks me for a visa, which is an advantage.”
Goertzel told Coin Rivet that AI and blockchain ” have tremendous potential to revolutionise governments. I mean human beings simply didn’t evolve to deal with the world of the complexity that they have created. Right?”
He truly believes AI and blockchain can resolve many of the issues that have stumped politicians and world leaders, such as combatting poverty, reducing corruption and eliminating inequality.
“We didn’t evolve to rule the US or China or coordinate the world economy, and our emotional and motivational systems screw us every time,” he said. “So you have people running major corporations and running whole countries, and they’re really thinking with very permanent and limited parts of their brain.”
“If we can fill the AI with the more positive aspects of human values and teach them human culture, then the AI can put these human values together with our unparalleled ability to coordinate massive amounts of data and solve many issues affecting the world we live in.”
Sophia is one of many examples of how blockchain and AI combined can improve our lives. She and SingularityNET are focusing great efforts in healthcare and biology research. Rather than fear an army of robots taking over the world, it’s time to embrace the possibility of a better life through innovation.