Hanson Robotics
Sophia the Robot, Image credit CNN, LightRocket, Getty Images

How Sophia Copies Human Facial Expressions by CNNStyle

Originally published by Stephy Chung at CNN Style on November 2, 2018

CNNStyle — The field of robotics is fast-growing. Robots can now perform complicated movements with elegance — back-flipping, practicing parkour moves, even “carving” classical sculptures.

Then there’s Sophia, a robot whose widespread appeal lies not in big, dramatic actions (her torso is often fixed to a rolling base), but rather an unsettling human-like appearance, compounded with the complex ability to express emotions.

“We’re not fully there yet, but Sophia can represent a number of emotional states, and she can also see emotional expressions on a human face as well,” explains David Hanson, the founder of Hanson Robotics.

The firm has developed a number of Sophias at their small research and design laboratory in Hong Kong, where parts and pieces of Sophia 20, 21 and 22 remain strewn across the facility.

“I hope we can develop our robots and AI in a way that makes deep emotional connection”

David Hanson, Ph.D., CEO, Hanson Robotics [Watch Video]

According to Hanson, Sophia now has simulations of every major muscle in the human face, allowing her to generate expressions of joy, grief, curiosity, confusion, contemplation, sorrow, frustration, among other feelings.

“In some of the work we’re doing, she will see your expressions and sort of match a little bit and also try to understand in her own way, what it is you might be feeling,” says Hanson.  Continued…

Image Credit:  CNN, LightRocket, Getty Images