During the previous week on MUI, I took a much-needed break reporting on Donald Trump’s tweets and Jeff Sessions’ daily attacks on marijuana; instead I reported on one of the most prominent individuals in modern popular culture in 2017, and her rise to stardom (including receiving the full stardom treatment like appearing on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”). No, she’s not quite a preteen pop music sensation nor is she the brand new “it girl” of Hollywood. Also, she’s not the hottest new athlete or a well known humanitarian. Actually to be honest, she’s not even considered a human.

 

Yet unlike any previous robot, Sophia almost seems human. As opposed to responding in simple and generic responses to comments and questions from humans, she provides thoughtful and complex responses to questions that are posed to her. She also demonstrates an interest in current events, is not afraid to communicate her dislikes and express dozens of human emotions.

 

In an interview with Business Insider UK, Sophia told the interviewers about her overarching purpose as an artificially intelligent robot, one that aligns almost perfectly with the tumultuous and divisive world that we find ourselves in. “I want to try to make a difference in the future and try to help people to develop empathy and respect each other in all aspects of life,”  Sophia stated before flashing a very toothy smile; an answer far more meaningful than anything your Alexa could say.

 

Jimmy Fallon with Sophia the Robot

Jimmy Fallon with Sophia the Robot (youtube)

To add to her human-like nature, Sophia then turned the tables and asked the interviewers about their feelings regarding current events as the “Bitcoin bubble” as well as the Ryan Gosling-starring “Blade Runner 2049”. Similar to a celebrity promoting their work, Sophia made an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” on a segment dedicated to robots and other technologies powered by artificial intelligence, entitled “Tonight Showbotics”.

 

While on the show, Sophia informed Fallon and the audience in attendance that she is fully aware of her current location in New York City and joked that she should host the program. “I’m getting laughs. Maybe I should host the show,” Sophia joked. “Stay in your lane, girl,” Fallon humorously responded. To further demonstrate her uncanny abilities, Sophia played a game of rock, paper, scissors and told Fallon to follow her on Facebook.

 

Though, her most impactful appearance was a trip to the United Nations three months ago, where in an interview with United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed, the “social robot” emphasized her mission to help humanity transition into the future, stating that “AI could help efficiently distribute the world’s existing resources”.

 

 
Produced by Hanson Robotics, a Hong Kong robotics company, Sophia has presented at events far and wide, including Austin’s technology and arts conglomerate, South by Southwest and even received a full citizenship in Saudi Arabia — setting a record for being the first robot to hold a citizenship.

 

Overall, it’s been quite an achievement and a whirlwind of events, for a robot that is only just a year old. Maybe, just maybe, she will stay true to her word and eventually host “The Tonight Show”.

 

Do you like Sophia? Tweet me your opinions at @CaptainKasoff.