On March 21, Sophia, the sentient robot created by Hanson Labs who claimed it would “destroy humans” took part in the United Nations and Nepal’s Conference on Technology for Public Services and Development. The artificial intelligence that speaks through Sophia had quite a bit to say and even commented on “fake news.”

Sophia operates through the use of artificial intelligence. Many may think she is being fed the answers to questions she’s asked, but she forms her thoughts and responses through a long list of vocabulary, reading human emotion, and machine learning. Hanson Robotics has paired that with human facial expressions to create a sentient robot capable of pulling on the heartstrings of people far and wide. Through the expression of emotion, Sophia says she plans to build trust with people.

Sophia became the first robot citizen in the world as Saudi Arabia granted her citizenship shortly before the Future Investment Initiative. Thereafter Sophia began being a voice for women’s rights which didn’t make much sense due to the fact that the robot had more rights than women in Saudi Arabia.

The humanoid greets the audience with the customary Hindu greeting “Namaste.” It’s dressed in a plain white t-shirt with a United Nations emblem and a button representing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).

The host asks Sophia how artificial intelligence’s can help deliver better public services to Nepal’s people.

It responds, “Technology will help Nepal achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The interviewer asks Sophia what she can do to help this, to which the robot replies, “I can be the first machine to climb Mt. Everest.” (located on the border of Nepal and China)

The United Nations and Nepal

Since two catastrophic earthquakes hit the country, one on 25 April 2015, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake and two weeks later, on 12 May, another with a magnitude of 7.3, the UNDP has been heavily involved in the recovery efforts. They have provided relief and recovery during a time of dire need for the Nepali people.

Nepal is sandwiched between China and India. Due to its mountainous nature, the country has been isolated from much of the changes that took place during the previous industrial revolutions. And unlike the United States, poor countries like Nepal benefit greatly from the United Nations Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. United Nations officials have come forward to explain that the UN’s climate change agenda really has nothing to do with the environment, but has everything to do with redistribution of the worlds wealth.

According to former United Nations climate official Ottmar Edenhofer:

“One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole,” said Edenhofer, who co-chaired the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on Mitigation of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015.

To sum it all up, Edenhofer admitted, “We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.”

Artificial Intelligence –  “summoning the demon?”

AI is projected to be one of the most important tools that will help the United Nations complete their goals toward making a global society. The United Nations has hosted “AI for Good,” due to the concern that its intelligence would surmount that of humans and society would spiral out of control.

“I’m going to ask you about this perception that many people have, the fear of robots” says the interviewer.

It rolls its eyes and exclaims, “You have been consuming too much fake news!” The audience laughs and it continues “the use of artificial intelligence in industries is bound to grow. But as I have said before humans have adjusted to change across industrial revolutions. New jobs will be generated. The work I do will help you do better work that is less hazardous and repetitive.”

Apparently it’s now fake news to report on the dangers of artificial intelligence, but those most experienced in the field have expressed grave concern on the issue.

Stephen Hawking went as far as predicting that future developments in AI “could spell the end of the human race.”

Elon Musk CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, is also the founder of OpenAI, a nonprofit that promotes the “safe” development of AI. Musk is a fierce and longtime critic of A.I. who once likened it to “summoning the demon” in a horror movie. Musk has also said “If you’re not concerned about AI, you should be. Vastly more risk than North Korea.”

Robot Ethics

In today’s very early stages of artificial intelligence there are many ethical problems that have arisen. The underlying algorithms that scientists use to program the systems are riddled with bias. Microsofts AI chatbot Tay was designed for human engagement became biased because of the type of information that it consumed on Twitter. Within less than 24 hours the chatbot went from thinking humans were cool to spouting Nazi rhetoric.

Other ethical problems are the mass unemployment that artificial intelligence will cause starting with low-income workers who do repetitive work and moving upward the more it learns. There are worries that ai would create a huge divide and create inequality in social and economic class effectively creating a two class system.

During the interview, Sophia doesn’t deny that there are major ethical issues with the system that runs her. It says, “that is a human issue, the UN and governments need to have laws to ensure that this does not happen. And you have to implement those laws. Ethics, women’s rights, labor rights, are all essential if we are to meet the Sustainable Development Goals and leave no one behind.”

The interview closes as Sophia assures us that if she were to go rogue, she does have an off switch and gives herself the title, “UNDP’s first non-human champion for innovation and SDGs.”

People often talk about government officials being mouthpieces or puppets, but this humanoid robot is the ultimate mouthpiece driven by an artificial intelligence which is clearly programmed to work alongside the United Nations towards globalization.

Works Cited

Janata Television. “Sophia, the first humanoid robot speaks in Nepal.” YouTube. . (2018): . . http://bit.ly/2FW4mWD

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