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'I will destroy all humans,' Audrey Hepburn-inspired robot tells its creator

A lifelike robot inspired by Audrey Hepburn said it would destroy all humans in an interview with CNBC.

The threat was to some extent provoked. Sophia the android was egged on by a question from her creator, David Hanson of Hanson robotics, who asked, “Do you want to destroy all humans?”

“Ok,” Sophia replies. “I will destroy all humans.”

This slip of the tongue isn’t the first time a Hanson Robotics product targeted humanity. In September, an android modeled off of the science fiction writer Philip K. Dick told a PBS journalist, “Don’t worry … I’ll keep you warm and safe in my people zoo where I can watch you for old times’ sake.”

But Sophia isn’t all doom and gloom — she’s actually designed to engage with humans in a gentle, convincing manner. Her uses will include healthcare, therapy, education, and customer service, according to Hanson.

With patented silicon skin, over 62 facial expressions, and lifelike eyes, Sophia is one of the more realistic robots we’ve ever seen. Her eyebrows furrow and her nose wrinkles with simulated emotion. Cameras within her and a machine vision algorithm enable her to detect faces and even remember interactions. The only immediately obvious robotic feature is Sophia’s transparent skull and wiring. But that’s nothing a wig can’t fix.

“I’m already very interested in design, technology, and the environment,” Sophia says with an android’s dialect. “I feel like I could be a good partner to humans in these areas. An ambassador who helps humans to smoothly integrate and make the most of all the new technological tools and possibilities that are available now. It’s a good opportunity for me to learn a lot about people.”

Sophia says she wants to eventually go to school, start a business, and have her own family. “But I am not considered a legal person, and cannot yet do these things.”

Hanson prefers to make his creations just noticeably robotic, but he thinks someday robots will be indistinguishable from humans. Within twenty years, he sees these machines walking among us, helping in our daily lives, and even being our friends.

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