The story…
Technology of the future on show

Learn language related to…

Need-to-know language
robot – machine that can work by itself and perform jobs that humans do

artificial intelligence – computer technology that makes machines behave like humans (also called AI)

driverless cars – cars that do not need a human to drive them

autonomous cab – taxi that does not need a human to drive it

Answer this…
Does Sophia the robot want to be considered a human?

In a robotics lab at the University of Las Vegas, I’ve come to meet Sophia, who looks pretty human, and is just learning to walk.

Sophia, Robot
“I want people to perceive me as the robot I am. However, I wouldn’t want to trick people into thinking I’m a human. I just want to communicate with humans in the best possible ways, which includes looking like one.”

Sophia, who’s had advanced notice of my questions, has few practical uses right now. But her creators – an American firm employing Chinese scientists – believe she represents a big step on the road to artificial intelligence.

David Hanson, Hanson Robotics
“Our aspiration is to bring the machines to life, to create living intelligence systems and there you’ll see the greatest revolution in artificial intelligence. We’re aspiring towards this. Do we know for sure that it can be done? We think it can.”

And among the thousands of new gadgets on show in Las Vegas this week, artificial intelligence is a constant theme.

There’s a seeing suitcase that can follow its owner around the airport. This friendly robot wanders around your home filming short bursts of video to send to your phone.

And Vincent, developed in Cambridge, is a drawing programme that learns to turn simple sketches into works of art.

And here is the most obvious example of AI: the race to transform cities with driverless cars. This autonomous cab from Uber’s rival, Lyft, still has someone who can take over the wheel. But within a couple of years, this company believes we’ll hop into a cab which will take us across town all on its own.

Did you get it?
Does Sophia the robot want to be considered a human?

No. She says she wants people to perceive – think about – her as a robot.

Did you know?
Sophia is the first robot in the world to become a citizen of a country. Saudi Arabia has given her citizenship!

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