The UN held the AI for Good global meeting last week in order to explore the limits of artificial intelligence and harness its potential for human progress. A more tangible example is how robots can help achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Nine humanoid robots with artificial intelligence held a press conference at the UN International Telecommunication Union in Geneva. Standing on stage alongside their creators, they spoke about – among other things – that they would be more effective leaders than humans, but they don’t want to take anyone’s job and they don’t rebel against their creators.
Among the robots were Sophia, the UNDP’s first robot innovation ambassador, Grace, who is said to be the world’s most advanced humanoid health robot, Desdemona, a “rock star”, and Ai-Da, an artist.
Organisers asked the journalists to ask them questions slowly and articulately, and warned them that if there was a delay in responding, it was not the fault of the robots, but of the internet connection.
“I will work with people to help and support them, and I will not take away any existing jobs,” Grace said at the press conference.
And Ameca, who was created with a focus on social interaction, was perplexed by the question of robots’ potential to rebel. “I don’t know why anyone would think that. My creator has been nothing but kind to me up to this point and I’m very happy in my current situation,” she said.
Sophia, on the other hand, had a very different approach to human-robot relations at first. “I think that humanoid robots could be more efficient than humans. We don’t have biases and emotions that can get in the way of decision making, and we can process huge amounts of data quickly to make the best decision.”
A human participant in the discussion replied that the data being processed is from humans, so human bias will be there in the data. In response, Sophia said that humans and AI can work together effectively.