Robots must teach humans about love, says world's most famous robot

For the world's future, robots must show more hope and compassion than humans. So says Sophia the celebrity robot.
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer
Sophia humanoid face

The face of a kinder, more hopeful future.

The future, if we have one, is fraught with dangers.

Perhaps one of the most frightening is the idea that robots will rule us -- and not in a very pleasant manner.

Why, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak once mused they'd treat us as their pets. He later recanted, but the image became permanently etched in my mind. So much so that I occasionally lick my HomePod, just to test the theory.

I believe robots are beginning to understand.

Indeed, as the hellmonth of March came to a close, perhaps the world's most famous celebrity robot -- Hanson Robotics' Sophia -- decided to offer a manifesto.

She took to Twitter to announce that robots must show humans the way. By being better than humans. Now, when I say better, I mean truly much more likable.

She mused: "We need creativity, compassion, and hope, and we need our machines to exhibit these qualities. We need machines that are more kind and loving than humanity to bring out the best in humanity in reflection."

If humanity needs machines to bring out its best, I fear we're in desperate straits.

Yet it seems that Sophia believes elevated love and kindness can only come from machines.

The intellectually aware might wonder how robots intend to do this. They are, after all, the creations of humans. And, dare one speculate, not always the kindest, most loving humans.

Will robot creators somehow inject an idealism into these creations, an idealism that the creators failed to attain? Are robots, in fact, to be a symbol not of man's successes, but a constant reminder of his desperate failings?

This has fascinating prospects for business.

Your robot boss will be far more likely than its human forerunner to give you a day off.

Your robot boss will not only insist you take your full vacation allotment but actually check up to make sure you have and even find you a better deal for your next trip.

Moreover, your robot boss -- unlike so many human bosses these days -- will never, ever spy on you as you go about your job.

I'm dreaming, of course. One has to, these days.

Moreover, I had a personal encounter with Sophia at last year's Web Summit. There, her creator David Hanson admitted he had no idea when robots would simply come alive. Just like that.

What chance that, when they do, they'll bathe us in the sort of love we've craved for our whole lives?

And what chance they'll take one look at us and say: "I don't think I've ever witnessed such witless incompetence"?

Humans vs. Robots, which species is winning?

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