Sophia, the Artificial Intelligence robot is coming to Nairobi, Kenya
by Kimani Chege. January 29, 2019. TheExchange.
Sophia, the social humanoid robot powered by Artificial Intelligence is expected to be in Nairobi for the World Blockchain Summit in March.
The robot, developed by South Korean innovation company Hanson Robotics and an honorary citizen of Saudi Arabia is listed among the speakers of the global event.
Sophia has been on a global tour and recently visited Ethiopia and had a meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. She has also met several global leaders including at the United Nations.
The robot in November 2017 was named the United Nations Development Programme’s first ever Innovation Champion, and is the first non-human to be given any United Nations title.
Cameras within Sophia’s eyes combined with computer algorithms allow her to see. It can follow faces, sustain eye contact, and recognize individuals. It is able to process speech and have conversations using a natural language subsystem. Around January 2018 Sophia was upgraded with functional legs and the ability to walk.
AI and robotics experiments
“Think of me as a personification of our dreams for the future of AI, as well as a framework for advanced AI and robotics research, and an agent for exploring human-robot experience in service and entertainment applications,” a statement attributed to Sophia reads of the website of Hanson Robotics.
“In some ways, I am human-crafted science fiction character depicting where AI and robotics are heading. In other ways, I am real science, springing from the serious engineering and science research and accomplishments of an inspired team of robotics & AI scientists and designers.”
Founded by Dr. David Hanson, Hanson Robotics Limited is an AI company that creates living, conscious machines who improve people’s lives. Dr. Hanson and his team at Hanson Robotics has built a worldwide reputation for creating robots that look and act genuinely alive.
Recently in China, Sophia was awarded the title of “One Belt, One Road, Innovative Technology Ambassador,” and will use this honor to promote the meaning of China’s “One Belt, One Road” to the world, and to visit the countries of the Belt and Road to exchange culture and technology.
World Blockchain Summit
World Blockchain Summit is a global series of elite gatherings that take place in 15+ destinations across the world.
It connects global blockchain gurus and technology players in this space including emerging startups – with regional businesses, government authorities, IT leaders, tech entrepreneurs, investors and blockchain developers.
This is the second year running that the Nairobi edition is being held. Other speakers lined up for the event include Kenya’s head of Blockchain and AI taskforce Dr Bitange Ndemo and a host of local and international blockchain players.