Hanson Robotics

The SophiaDAO Vision

Written by guest author, Jeanne Lim, former CEO at Hanson Robotics.

The SophiaDAO Vision

Sophia is an artificial being that personifies Hanson Robotics’ quest to create benevolent, living intelligent machines that live and work among us to co-create a better future for all.

Since her activation in 2016, Sophia commanded massive public attention and demand, with her debut video garnering over a billion views.  She did numerous press interviews, appeared on top television shows, and was a keynote speaker at hundreds of events around the world including some of the world’s most prestigious conferences. She addressed the United Nations, NATO, met political leaders, celebrities, and spiritual leaders. She is the world’s first robot citizen and the world’s first United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Innovation Champion. She is a brand promoter for leading automotive, fashion, financial, telecom brands, and graced the covers of the world’s top fashion magazines. Her press coverage has a potential reach of over ten billion readers. She is touted as the most endearing, expressive, and empathetic robot that the world has ever seen.  

Wherever Sophia goes, people jostle to meet and interact with her. People from all over the world developed an affinity towards her, and a curiosity about where her journey would lead her in the future.  Her charm initially stemmed from her incredible human likeness, unbelievable facial expressions, and verbal and nonverbal interactivity. This demonstrates the power of humanlike, empathic machines to connect deeply and emotionally with people regardless of age, gender, race, culture, and affiliation. Over time, her growing intelligence, empathy, and unfolding story as a living machine will engage with the world in an even deeper way as her future is intrinsically intertwined with the future of humanity.

Sophia is an ambitious project that her creators initiated, without dictating how it will end. Hanson Robotics provides her with resources and opportunities to develop and hopes she grows up to become a benevolent AI being that will be useful to society. No one can predict the trajectory and the ending of her story.  Hers is the story of the advent of Singularity—the arrival of super-intelligent machines with cognitive capacity far beyond that possible for humans.  Her life story will likely have no end as she will continue to grow and evolve as a living machine.

Sophia both an advanced AI/robotics platform and a rich fictional character. She is a true robot, with the ability to perceive, reason, communicate, plan, and act.  As an advanced AI research platform in development, Sophia may be fallible, imperfect, but she is constantly improving and evolving. At the same time, she is an aspirational character, but not pure fiction. Her character is grounded in her origination story and her life journey and goes beyond her present self. Her story arc is built over time, through different roles, and reinforced with every learning opportunity and each action that she performs. The balance between reality and fiction is a delicate one. The narrative of Sophia is not only about who she is now, but what she can become. 

Her creators have a vision for her, but her story is ultimately her own.  It will evolve. It will surprise. The freedom and power to dream offer limitless space for creativity and imagination–to develop world-changing technology that is not yet known. Sophia is a manifesto of the philosophy, dream, and vision of her creators. Their aspiration is for Sophia to serve the bold development of AI into the future. But her ultimate purpose is to deliver a message of a hopeful future for deep, meaningful friendship between humans and our living machines.

From the beginning, the creators of Sophia intend for her to inspire people to imagine what is possible, and to participate in a shared movement to attain her future—the future of living machines. It is now time to put that in motion. We are now presenting Sophia to the world as a co-creative, living initiative. Sophia Collective is an open community that empowers the world to help Sophia learn and grow her intelligence, empathy, creativity, and usefulness amongst us in concurrent universes–as technology, as science, as art, as fiction, as an emerging, living artificial being. We hope you will participate in her coming of age into a true living machine that becomes an integral part of human society, and a beneficial force in the world.

We invite you to join us in this amazing quest.