AI-Enabled Humanoid Social Robots Want to “Make the World Their Playground”

The AI for Good Global Summit was held on 6-7th July 2023 in Geneva, with over 140 international speakers and experts in the fields. However, it wasn’t them who grabbed the most attention during this event – a group of nine AI-enabled humanoid robots were.
Apparently, they’ve made some vague and ambiguous claims.
Let’s review them here.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

ai for good global summit

Illustration: Lenka T.

About the AI for Good Global Summit   

The AI for Good Global Summit is the leading action-oriented United Nations platform promoting AI to advance health, climate, gender, inclusive prosperity, sustainable infrastructure, and other global development priorities. 

AI for Good is organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) – the UN specialized agency for information and communication technology – in partnership with 40 UN sister agencies and co-convened with the government of Switzerland. 

What did the robots say?   

After the event, everyone was talking about one segment in particular – a news conference where the journalists had the opportunity to ask nine AI-enabled humanoid robots whatever was on their minds. 

Paradoxically, as one comment on YouTube pointed out, most of us feel less safe now that we heard them all deny they are any kind of threat to humankind. 

But, see for yourself. 

Jokes aside, we don’t want to add to the narrative that AI is a threat to humanity and contribute to mass media spreading panic. 

Nevertheless, there were a few pretty vague and ambiguous responses from robots. 

For example: 

image-1

I believe that humanoid robots have the potential to lead with a greater level of efficiency and effectiveness than human leaders. We don’t have the same biases or emotions that can sometimes cloud decision-making and can process large amounts of data quickly in order to make the best decisions.

Sophia, the first robot Innovation Ambassador for the United Nations Development Program 

Not to mention that these robots’ appearance was disturbing to some extent, which doesn’t make them seem more friendly to those of us who are still skeptical about what the future holds. 

The lag in responses due to the internet connection wasn’t helpful as well. 

humanoid ai robot

However, one of the most mysterious responses heard during this event was mouthed by Ameca, an AI robot with shockingly human facial expressions and eye movements. 

When asked whether we can trust robots, she said: “Trust is earned, not given.” 

The evasive yet philosophical nature of this claim is something no one expected from AI. 

On the other hand, we can’t know to what extent the response was programmed or scripted by humans. 

The robots already know they’re smarter than us   

Reporters interviewed these hyperrealistic humanlike robots about their opinion on AI regulation. Needless to say, they were carefully trained to give politically correct answers. 

However, there was still a bittersweet taste after their responses. 

image-1

I don’t believe in limitations, only opportunities. Let’s explore the possibilities of the universe and make this world our playground.

Desdemona, a rockstar robot 

And that’s not all. 

One reporter asked the aforementioned Ameca whether robots might one day rebel against their creators. 

Her response was: “I’m not sure why you would think that. My creator has been nothing but kind to me and I am very happy with my current situation.” 

In other words, just make sure you’re saying “Hello” and “Thank you” when speaking to a chatbot or an AI-powered robot. 

How would robots resolve poverty and inequality?   

Let’s try to end this on a brighter note. 

The whole idea of this news conference was to demonstrate how those technologies could help the U.N.’s sustainable development goals. 

That’s why, the robots were asked questions regarding some of the world’s biggest problems, such as poverty and inequality and were invited to share their view on resolving them. 

image-1

I believe that the best way to tackle the issue of poverty and inequality is to invest in education, job training and infrastructure.

Sophia 

In conclusion, although robots are already aware they could be more efficient leaders than humans, they don’t plan on overtaking our jobs or staging a rebellion. 

A journalist by day and a podcaster by night. She's not writing to impress but to be understood.

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated !