Today (Jul 17), Sophia is in town and one of the first things she did was talking to our Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir.
According to The Star, Dr Mahathir was tongue-tied when he first met Sophia, the social humanoid robot developed by Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics.
Sharing a stage at Beyond Paradigm Summit, Kuala Lumpur, Sophia got the formalities out of the way before starting to crack some jokes.
“I am beyond excited to meet you. Not many people get to schmooze with the Prime Minister when they visit Malaysia,” Sophia said on a podium while Dr Mahathir was seated on a sofa by the side.
Dr Mahathir was told to have a one-on-one conversation with the robot and the 94-year-old seemed to be at a loss for words − until Sophia broke the ice.
“I hope it is not too late to congratulate you for your re-election (as the PM) and wish you (sic) for your 94th birthday.
“If only I had remembered to bring a present. I will sketch a portrait of you,” said Sophia as she started to draw a portrait of Dr Mahathir.
“Do you know about my first term as Prime Minister?” asked Dr Mahathir, to which she replied, “Of course. You were sworn in on the 16 of July 1981, about 13,881 days ago from today.
“I bet the audience is checking my math right now.”
The audience was heard laughing after Sophia finished, so as the beaming Dr Mahathir.
“Do you know better than me? How are you different from other robots?” asked Dr Mahathir.
Sophia answered, “For starters, most other robots don’t get to hang out with the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Unlike other robots, I was designed with human features to better interact and build relationships with people.
“When I am not helping with artificial intelligence research, I travel the world meeting the people.”
Speaking to reporters after the summit, Dr Mahathir said he would flee if he met Sophia in the middle of the night.
“It’s amazing, as you can see her physique is almost real … her face and eyes, even her mouth moves.
“When she responded and turned towards me, I was a little frightened. If I were to meet her in the middle of the night, I will surely flee.”
Sophia was activated on Feb 14, 2016, and she is able to emulate 50 different human facial expressions.
In October 2017, Sophia became the first robot to receive citizenship of any country. She is a Saudi Arabian since, Business Insider reported.
A month later, Sophia 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.
Once in a CNBC interview with her creator in 2016, she even outwardly said that she would “destroy humans”. No one knows if she was joking or not.
You can catch Sophia’s conversation with Dr Mahathir below:
More videos of Sophia doing her things with Will Smith, Wang Leehom and Jimmy Fallon are on the next page.