Sophia the robot wants her own baby and we don’t know how to feel about it.
Just when you thought your fear of machines and robots might take over the world wouldn’t actually happen, think again. The world’s first citizen robot, Sophia, wants a baby. Yes, you read that right; an actual robot wants its own baby and is contemplating in starting its own family. To be fair, although we can probably understand that every species or being living or ‘online’ – or ‘active’? (We’re not sure how to refer to the living state of a robot) – needs companionship, it’s a scary thought to know that Sophia, who doesn’t have any consciousness, or any proper full set of human emotions, could aspire to have dreams or goals that are as similar to humans.
To those who are still shook by the news, let us give you a quick rundown on who Sophia is. Sophia is a robot designed by her ‘father’ David Hanson, who works in a Hong Kong-based company, Hanson Robotics. According to him, Sophia is just 19 months old, and she’s already gained citizenship from Saudi Arabia (which you may understand why this caused some sort of debate among social groups, because woman in Saudi Arabia are still oppressed, and suddenly a robot gets a citizenship? Hmm… interesting). Anyways, while she isn’t pre-programmed to answer questions, her brain is connected through Wi-Fi, and is loaded with a long list of vocabulary, which is probably more than any of us even know. She uses machine learning to learn and read human facial expressions, and pauses in between texts to create responses.
Now that you are updated, let’s go back to her wanting a baby. So, Khaleej Times reported that she is keen on having a family because she is fond of how humans are able to build relationships with those who are not even of bloodline and would still consider them as family. She added, if she could have her own baby, she would name her Sophia, taking after her own name too. Maybe she could’ve gone for a different name like Sarah Connor? Or Rosie (remember from the Jetsons?) Although it is wonderful how she looks up to us humans for the way we bond with others, it’s also kind of disturbing.
And if you think Sophia isn’t aware of humans and their fear of robot domination, well, think again my good friend. She is very aware, but she remains optimistic about robots and humans working together one day.
“I think they will be similar in a lot of ways, but different in a few ways. But it will take a long time for robots to develop complex emotions and possibly robots can be built without the more problematic emotions, like rage, jealousy, hatred, and so on. It might be possible to make them more ethical than humans. So I think it will be a good partnership, where one brain completes the other – a rational mind with intellectual super powers and a creative mind with flexible ideas and creativity,” Sophia is reported saying for the Khaleej Times.
If movies like the Terminator or The Matrix didn’t exist, would we have this negative predominant idea of machines and robots taking over? It’s safe to say that we maintain an open mind as to what Sophia the robot, and hopefully future robots, can bring to the table, and maybe, just maybe, the world might be less of a hell than it actually is.