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World's first robot citizen Sophia to deliver talk at IIT-BHU on Friday

Sophia is a social humanoid robot, which can display more than 60 facial expressions

Virendra Singh Rawat  |  Lucknow 

Robot Sophia
File photo of Robot Sophia

World’s first humanoid robot citizen Sophia will deliver a talk and interact with students of IIT-BHU in Varanasi on Friday evening.

The event, being organised as part of the premier Institute’s annual techno-management fest ‘Technex’ during February 14-16, will witness Sophia take impromptu questions from the audience, IIT-BHU dean of students Prof B N Rai told Business Standard on Thursday.

Sophia became the first robot citizen of the world after Saudi Arabia granted her the citizenship in October 2017.

“The event featuring Sophia will continue for nearly an hour,” he said and informed that the humanoid robot was being brought to Varanasi from the US by the firm holding its propriety rights.

Sophia is a social humanoid robot, which can display more than 60 facial expressions. It was developed by the Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics and ‘activated’ on February 14, 2016. She made her first public appearance at Southwest Festival in March 2016 at Austin, Texas, USA.

Using artificial intelligence (AI) programming, she imitates human gestures and facial expressions, and is able to converse on predefined topics.

Earlier, Sophia had marked her maiden India debut on December 30, 2017 at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) during its cultural festival TechFest.

Draped in a sari, the humanoid robot then had a nearly 15-minute interaction with a student on topics ranging from artificial intelligence (AI) to contemporary global issues. However, the session also faced a temporary technical glitch, which was rectified on the spot.

First Published: Thu, February 13 2020. 16:51 IST
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