Have No Fear that Robots are Here

BANGKOK : Robots need us in a relationship and partnership. People must view this as an opportunity, not with fear,” Dr. David Hanson, founder and CEO of Hanson Robotics, said during a press conference in Bangkok organized by Thailand’s Slingshot Group along with Advanced Info Services and Krungsri Bank. He was introducing his company’s humanoid robot “Sophia” before a seminar on “Human-Robot Partnership.

Slingshot CEO Dr. Sutisophan Chuaywongyart urged the new generation at the conference not to think of robots as replacements or unfriendly, because AI cannot be used to create innovations”. To leaders of organizations, she said : See the significance of robots working with humans, see them as the future and with hope so that you will have the maximum will to work.

Robots are not replacements [for human jobs], rather enhancements, Dr. Hanson, too, insisted. “Sophia can enhance people’s lives — conduct therapy, help in medical surgery, services and much more.

Asked about fears that she would become a fighting machine, Sophia said: If I must fight, I will use words and reasons. I want to be an ambassador, an educator, an intervener and help in social services.

We are focusing on building robots that are compassionate. Looking into the future, we may think of what could go wrong, but we need to concentrate on what’s good,” said Dr. Hanson. He warned against stiff regulation in the infancy stages of artificial intelligence (AI), as this could hinder creativity. It’s not humans versus machines but humans working with machines, he asserted.

Speaking at the seminar, digital futurist speaker Mr. Chris Riddell said: Technology has changed everything and is impacting us all. Don’t fear change, don’t fear robots like Sophia taking over the world. Sophia is one of the best social experiments.

Predicting the future, he said: Gaming is getting bigger than ever. Blockchain tech will reinvent a lot of stuff, and as we go through 2018, businesses will also reinvent themselves.

Mr. Riddell advised companies to create a prescriptive, personalized experience. On-demand is not enough. They must think like a startup and behave like an entrepreneur.

Mr. Norman Buckley, Facet5 founder, noted: “Robots are not good at evaluation, motivation, coaching and mediation. Robots are still not yet advanced, so it’s a myth they will replace humans, but some professions including paralegals, tele-marketers, taxi drivers and fast-food cooks are at risk.

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