Sophia, renowned globally as the world’s first robot citizen, hogged all the limelight as she took the stage at an international event in Hanoi on Friday, as part of her first-ever visit to Vietnam.
The artificial intelligence (AI)-powered humanoid robot, developed by the Hong Kong-based company Hanson Robotics, wowed some 1,800 attendees at the Industry 4.0 Summit and Expo 2018, as she delivered a speech while donning ao dai, the traditional Vietnamese gown.
Held by the Vietnamese government, the July 12-13 event, themed “Vision and Development Strategy in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” was attended by local government officials and domestic and foreign experts, businesses and embassies.
"I was designed to use artificial intelligence, I want the world to know about sustainable development. Robots like me will help achieve this target faster," Sophia introduced herself in English.
The robot then responded to various questions related to sustainable development, the potential to apply AI in production, and the chances and challenges the Fourth Industrial Revolution, also known as Industry 4.0, may bring to Vietnam.
When asked how Industry 4.0 may affect Vietnam’s young generation, Sophia pointed out that “the challenges are as plenty as the opportunities.”
“When we look at the challenges, we must look at the need for the youth to be provided with the right education to comparatively meet the demand of the jobs in the Industry 4.0, especially in the fields of engineering, mathematics and technology,” she said.
“They need the 21st century skills, [such as] entrepreneurship.”
As for opportunities opened up by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Sophia underlined that “opportunities are abundant. Look at how technology has transformed the world.”
The social humanoid robot said that the youth now have access to a variety of “creative applications that help people every day, from finding cheap and easy transportation like Grab to making connections on Twitter or Facebook.”
In order not to fall behind in the Industry 4.0 era, Sophia suggested Vietnam elevate innovation in technology for sustainable and fast development.
“The Vietnamese government is on the right track with the effective development and exploitation of the Internet of Things,” the delicate-looking woman robot complimented.
The Vietnamese government, according to Sophia, should work with the private sector to employ technology to benefit everyone and adopt appropriate policies to support the low-income group, which will in turn support the country’s comprehensive development.
Following the Q&A session, Sophia attended a press conference, where she continued to impress the media.
Sophia the robot made her first public appearance at South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) in mid-March 2016 in Austin, Texas, United States.
She is able to display more than 50 facial expressions and to process speeches and have conversations using a natural language subsystem thanks to the AI software that is constantly being trained in the lab.
Sophia has become a media darling, appearing in major media outlets around the world and a highly sought-after speaker in business, proving her prowess and great potential across many industries.
She was hailed as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)'s new "Innovation Champion" for Asia and the Pacific.
On October 25, 2017, Sophia made international headlines as she became a full citizen of Saudi Arabia - the first robot in the world to achieve such a status.