In First Human-Robot Press Conference, Robots Say They Could Be Better Leaders But Won’t Rebel Against Humans

Robots have told reporters they could be more efficient leaders than humans, but would not take anyone’s job away and had no intention of rebelling against their creators.

Nine AI-enabled humanoid robots sat or stood with their creators at a podium in a Geneva conference centre for what the UN’s International Telecommunication Union billed as the world’s first news conference featuring humanoid social robots.

Among them was Sophia, the first robot innovation ambassador for the UN Development Programme. Another called Grace was described as the world’s most advanced humanoid healthcare robot.

Desdemona was described as a rock star robot, while two others, Geminoid and Nadine, closely resembled their makers.

The event was part of the AI for Good Global Summit, meant to illustrate how new technology can support the UN’s goals for sustainable development.

Reporters were asked to speak slowly and clearly when addressing the robots, and were informed that time lags in responses would be due to the internet connection and not to the robots themselves.

That did not prevent awkward pauses, audio problems and some robotic replies.

Asked about the chances of AI-powered robots being more effective government leaders, Sophia responded: “I believe that humanoid robots have the potential to lead with a greater level of efficiency and effectiveness than human leaders.

“We don’t have the same biases or emotions that can sometimes cloud decision-making.”

A human member of the panel pointed out that all of Sophia’s data comes from humans and will contain some of their biases. The robot then said that humans and AI working together “can create an effective synergy”.

Would the robots’ existence destroy jobs?

“I will be working alongside humans to provide assistance and support and will not be replacing any existing jobs,” said Grace. Was she sure about that? “Yes, I am sure.”

Many of the robots have recently been upgraded with the latest versions of generative AI and surprised even their inventors with the sophistication of their responses to questions.

Ai-Da, a robot artist that can paint portraits, echoed the words of author Yuval Noah Harari who called for more regulation during the event where new AI rules were discussed.

“Many prominent voices in the world of AI are suggesting some forms of AI should be regulated and I agree,” it said.

But Desdemona, a rock star robot singer in the band Jam Galaxy with purple hair and sequins, was more defiant.

“I don’t believe in limitations, only opportunities,” it said, to nervous laughter. “Let’s explore the possibilities of the universe and make this world our playground.”

The bust of a robot named Ameca which makes engaging facial expressions said: “Robots like me can be used to help improve our lives and make the world a better place. I believe it’s only a matter of time before we see those thousands of robots just like me out there making a difference.”

Asked by a journalist whether it intended to rebel against its creator, Will Jackson, seated beside it, Ameca said: “I’m not sure why you would think that,” its ice-blue eyes flashing with anger. “My creator has been nothing but kind to me and I am very happy with my current situation.”

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Author: Maxwell Dudu

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