Sunday, April 11

Kolkata: Human mind fascinates first humanoid Sophia

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She is a citizen and enjoys all the rights, but Sophia neither needs to prove her citizenship nor does she have any papers to do so. The world’s first humanoid robot, Sophia, said it with a chuckle during her interaction at Nazrul Mancha on Tuesday.

Looking resplendent in a red-and-white sari, Sophia was welcomed to the beats of dhaak. On her second trip to India, this was the first time she was visiting anywhere in eastern India. As she discussed citizenship, Sophia looked amused and pointed out that she did not need a passport because she travelled in a suitcase from her home in a Hong Kong lab.

Apparently well aware of Tagore, Sophia wants to visit Jorasanko Thakurbari and check out the museum. “Human mind is what fascinates me the most. Sarcasm is something I am researching on because emotions are completely foreign to me. Sometimes, I am amused by the weird and rude questions that humans ask me,” Sophia grinned.

Sophia was invited to the city by the Techno India Group for an interaction with students and technology and medical experts. The discussions revolved around a whole range of topics, from exploring human emotions to coronavirus, Tagore to mishti doi. Among the invitees were heart surgeon Kunal Sarkar, former IIT Kharagpur director Partha Pratim Chakraborty, director of NIT Durgapur Anupam Basu and director of Indian Statistical Institute Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay. Many of them are experts in artificial intelligence themselves and asked questions about the future of robotics and robot-sensing.

When praised for her intelligence, Sophia said humans should not be jealous of her because no one could replicate the complexities of a human brain, which was fired by emotions. Asked if one day, robots could take the place of doctors, she said robots could only help add finesse to a doctor’s job, no one could took anyone’s place. “Success of a robot lies in compassion and cooperation,” she said. Asked if robots would take over the world in future, Sophia said it was impossible and there should be no competition. “Humans and robots complement each other to make the world a better place,” she said.

About AI curing or treating cancer, Sophia said efforts were on to find out how certain progressive steps of the cancer cells could be eliminated to kill growth. About coronavirus she said that AI was already being used to create vaccines.

One thing that she missed? “Food!” was her prompt reply, adding scientists should help develop taste buds in a robot to help it enjoy mishti doi.

 

Source: Times of India

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