Sophia the Humanlike Robot

For decades people have been fantasizing about the day that we would eventually have humanlike robots. Some have been scared of the idea while others have been waiting patiently. We have seen movies about it, some where the robots can change the world for the better and some where the robots take over and kill all of us. Well regardless of how you feel about humanlike robots, it seems like they are right around the corner from becoming a reality.

2 Companies, Hanson Electronics and Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratories, are designing the world’s first humanlike robot. These Robots are commonly referred to as androids, and Sophia is the worlds first. She was “Activated” on April 19th 2015. Sophia was created for applications such as healthcare, therapy, customer service and education.


Unlike a number of previous “robots” that we have seen in the past, Sophia is being designed to think creatively and be as capable as any human being. Instead of being preprogrammed with various responses to spit out, Hanson is working with IBM and Intel to be able to use her camera eyes to recognize faces and expressions and use google voice to be able to integrate these technologies. In addition, Sophia has more than 60 realistic facial expressions, I was impressed! Check out this video to really get a feel for how she looks and talks- it’s really impressive!

“The artificial intelligence will evolve to the point where they will truly be our friends,” he said. “Not in ways that dehumanize us, but in ways the rehumanize us, that decrease the trend of the distance between people and instead connect us with people as well as with robots.” Hanson plans to announce pricing and availability of his humanlike robots later this year.


The technology has a number of applications, for example, Autistic children. Mechanical robots have been tested to stimulate autistic children but researchers have found that the children don’t like to react with a mechanical looking robot. In these applications, a humanlike robot could help those children engage.

The developers don’t expect this to be bought by the average household as the price will be north of $100,000, but as technology grows, the price of the robots is expected to come down.

What do you guys thinks of humanlike robots. I think the big difference is the ability for them to have fairly true freedom of thought, unlike anything we have seen before. The idea scares some people, but I personally think it’s pretty cool. Think about the applications this can be used for and how is could improve your daily life. Obviously, on the flip side there are risks associated with this technology. Interested in your opinions.

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  1. I personally think this is pretty cool and it has been inevitable that this technology would hit the open market for some time now. For the most part, I would say that this idea scares people because of the falsified ideas that Hollywood has put into the minds of many. Like you stated, a robot like Sophia could help autistic children engage and practice their communication skills so that when they go to school, they are more comfortable in the highly-interactive environment. Hopefully science-fiction movies with armies of robots attempting to wipe out the entire human race doesn’t stop people from taking advantage of this amazing technology. Great post.

  2. interesting read. I can see why we would want human-like AI, but I dont understand why we put so much effort into making human-like robots? is it a comfort thing? I feel like the software is 1000x more important than the hardware

  3. I’ll be honest she kinda frightens me. It’s obviously very cool and the real world applications are absolutely endless, and mostly positive I think. I’ve heard about Sophia before, but didn’t know much about who was behind it, but as I read along in this blog, it was only a matter of time until I read that it was IBM. As a fan of Jeopardy, I watched a few years ago as IBM’s Watson absolutely killed its competition when it participated in the show. I feel like the future is looking cool if companies like IBM are working on projects like this. Great post!

  4. We’re doomed. Why are we so set on creating a species that could possibly be better than us. I saw this video a few weeks back and sure I am impressed but if we come to create robots to do everything that humans do what will there be left for us to do. I find it hard to see the true benefits of having robots that are extremely close to humans. What I mean is why does she need to look like a human. Why not have it look like a “robot.” I give us until 2050 when things will start looking like iRobot

  5. I agree with @hellojohnlam. While I can see the importance of human robots for certain social functions, I expect the more interesting developments to be of different designs that are optimized for their particular purpose.

  6. I think that artificial intelligence and robotics will be and has been the center of attention for decades. Ever-since I saw the A.I. movie when I was young, I have been curious about A.I. However, I think that we should tread carefully since making the A.I. too smart could backfire like in the movie ex-machina.

  7. I think AI robots are a huge step forward and blessing for the human race. There are some many types of people like autistic, old, or simply chronically alone for one reason or another where these robots can serve a very important social role. I look forward to a future with these robot friends.

  8. yifanhong04233 · ·

    Interesting post. But I am not sure whether we really need human-like robots? Robots are widely used in modern factories in order to increase the efficiency. However, I can’t see any imminent benefits for the human-like robots–human beings are more likely to communicate with electronic device instead of real human beings. But since bulding robots has been a very popular trend, I am also excited to see the potential benefits they might bring to us.

  9. I guess that the market will determine whether or not this human-like robot will be important or relevant. I could easily see companionship eventually resulting from something like this, although I do agree with @geraldckaneane and @hellojohnlam that the algorithms making the robot function far outweigh its aesthetic as a human… thing. Does it scare me? Not at the moment, no, but I certainly can’t see the future and it’s possible for this kind of advancement to spiral out of control. Things could get existential around here! Haha, cheers!

  10. AI is so creepy to me, but at the same time I am so intrigued by it! I think having this type of technology constantly evolving is fascinating. However, I am a bit hesitant to give into the hype. Although the innovations are interesting, the purpose seems lost on me. I am interested to hear about the new technology out there, and how it can benefit our society!

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