Bangladesh innovators can build their own robots, says Hanson

06 Dec 2017, 22:14

NTV Online
Photo: Sayful Sumon

Appreciating the people of Bangladesh for taking interest in humanoid robot Sophia, its creator Dr David Hanson on Wednesday said Bangladeshi innovators can build their own robots to help society.

‘I really appreciate the interest Bangladeshi people have taken in Sophia,’ David Hanson said while speaking at a public session, ‘Techtalk with Sophia’, arranged as part of the 4-day Digital World Exposition at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city.

The ICT Division in collaboration with Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) organised the exposition.

Hanson said he has published his software as open source for enthusiasts all around the world as he thinks robots can help people.

‘Any talented innovator from Bangladesh can download it and use its components such as Artificial Intelligence and more to build their own robot to help society,’ he added.

The robotics engineer also said it is important to humanise technology, which will be the course of the future of humanity. ‘They’re designed for empathy, so if we can realise empathetic machines through living machines then it will change history,’ Hanson observed.

‘In the next five years, I believe, we’ll see living intelligent machines walking among us, part of that will be Sophia, who will be our friend,’ he added.

It has been a long journey for Hanson with intelligent machines, first conceptualised 30 years ago when he was a child and he built his first humanoid robot 23 years ago. ‘These were dreams of the future. In the last five years, there have been many breakthroughs in AI technology, now it is more realistic.’

Later, Sophia, the world’s first artificially intelligent robot created by Hanson, interacted with her audience at the programme.

Sophia, who resembles Hollywood legend Audrey Hepburn, is the first robot in the world to become a citizen of a country. Saudi Arabia made a history by giving Sophia its citizenship in October this year.

Sophia has already become a media star with magazine cover-shoots, talk show appearances, and even a speech to the UN.

The humanoid robot which was activated on April 19, 2015, can chat, smile and even tell jokes, using artificial intelligence, visual data processing and facial recognition.