Human and AI robots can work together for a better world, Sophia tells Syed Saddiq


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 18 Jul 2019

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): Humans and artificial intelligence (AI) robots can both use their intrinsic skills to complement each other and work together to create a better world.

This was among the most compelling points mentioned by Sophia, the social humanoid robot, during a debate with Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman on the second day of the Beyond Paradigm Summit held at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) here on Thursday (July 18).

The debate was witnessed by nearly 500 spectators who wanted to have a closer look at the robot.

During a one-on-one of the nine-minute debate, Sophia answered Syed Saddiq’s first question on the role of AI robots in helping humans create a better world by saying, "AI robots can help humankind to figure out the best strategies to mitigate climate change, as it can render possible outcome and also predict the most successful strategies to combat a problem in a split second.”

Syed Saddiq then asked Sophia about the possibility of AI robots taking over humans in the workforce as such robots have been proven capable of doing something faster and with minimal errors, compared with humans.

Sophia replied: "It is hard to predict the future, but robots are positively helping humans in many ways. For example, robots are capable of diffusing bombs, partake in search and rescue missions, and also in chemical testing that are dangerous to humans.

"Compared with humans, we robots will not get tired and we can consistently work, but still, we have to rely on the power sources powered by humans," said Sophia, who was clad in a red modern baju kurung.

At the end of the session, Sophia said to Syed Saddiq that she wanted to learn the Malay language in a year or two. She currently speaks English fluently and as she loves Chinese culture, she also wants to learn Cantonese soon.

Sophia was developed by Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics and unveiled in 2016. It has been brought to Malaysia by Serba Dinamik Holdings, which also organised the two-day summit showcasing advanced technologies encapsulating the core ideas of automation and data exchange surrounding the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0).

Syed Saddiq expressed his admiration for the robot that perfectly answered all his questions and called on all ministries to build and accelerate the local ecosystem utilising AI technology properly, as it has been proven internationally to bring positive impact in many ways.

Meanwhile, Serba Dynamic chief executive officer and group managing director, Datuk Dr Ir Mohd Abdul Karim Abdullah, said the public and private sectors had to work together to build a partnership in setting up a national AI framework.

"I am in agreement with Syed Saddiq (on the suggestion for all ministries to build a local ecosystem that utilises AI technology and its development), as bringing Sophia here is actually to put the pressure on our scientists and technologists to compare our technology with that of outside developers.

"But the main problem we have right now is the competitiveness and cost issues. That is why we must have dialogue sessions between the public and private sectors first to have a better understanding and coordination.

"After that, there has to be a partnership between both parties and academia as well," he said at a press conference held after the debate session. - Bernama


   

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