I watched two robots chat collectively on stage at a tech occasion


I received a glimpse into the longer term world of our robotic overlords at present. It was nervy at instances.

I watched two robots go on stage at a tech occasion to “debate” the way forward for humanity with one another.

The robots in query are Sophia and Han, and so they belong to Hanson Robotics, a Hong Kong-based firm that’s growing and deploying synthetic intelligence in humanoids. The duo took to the stage at Rise in Hong Kong with Hanson Robotics’ Chief Scientist Ben Goertzel directing the banter.

The dialog, which was partially scripted, wasn’t as slick because the human-to-human panels on the present, nevertheless it was definitely a sight to behold for the packed viewers. Subjects ranged from an early (and creepy) joke about taking up the world with a drone military, to ethics in robots and people, robotic job potential, and whether or not it’s higher to be wealthy or well-known. There was even singing.

The occasion organizers claimed a world first for 2 robots speaking on stage, and it isn’t tough to think about that it may turn out to be a extra widespread sight sooner or later.

Certainly, that is simply the beginning of Hanson Robotics’ formidable plans.

Firm CEO and founder Dr David Hanson believes robots will turn out to be commonplace in properties and different elements of our every day life throughout the subsequent decade. However the important thing to that progress is to equip them with the feelings and flexibility that’s missing from at present’s crop.

“We’ve got these early uses but our aspiration is Data from Star Trek,” Hanson advised TechCrunch on the sidelines of the occasion following the robotic debate. “Data was the smartest member of the crew, he could do anything.”

“He certainly could work in a shop or a factory, but he was helping to solve the big problems in collaboration and friendship with people. He had a heart of gold, he was creative, he learned and adapted, he wasn’t susceptible to the moral flaws of humans. That what we are aspiring towards — we are still hooking all these things together but we’ve got the parts in pieces,” he added.

For now, Hanson Robotics is making ready to launch its first client product, an Einstein-like mini robotic geared toward instructing science to youngsters. The robotic is prone to be formally unveiled throughout the subsequent month and be out there for lower than $300 as soon as it goes on sale.

Up till now, the corporate has deployed small numbers of its humanoids for science museums, AI growth tasks and healthcare, particularly round working with autism instances. Now it might probably add talking in entrance of a crowd at a know-how occasion to the timeline.


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Désiré LeSage


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