Will Smith and Sophia The Robot Met for An Unsettlingly Bizarre 'Date'

Saturday, 31 March 2018 - 11:47AM
Technology
Robotics
Weird Science
Saturday, 31 March 2018 - 11:47AM
Will Smith and Sophia The Robot Met for An Unsettlingly Bizarre 'Date'
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YouTube/Will Smith
Will Smith, who's killed robots in at least a few of his films (his fight scenes from I, Robot will come into play a little later), is not the sort of public figure you'd expect to see hanging out with Sophia the robot.

And as the world's first artificially intelligent citizen, Hanson Robotics' Sophia isn't the type of android to be seen socializing in casual situations, considering she's still getting the hang of human interaction. Nevertheless, Will Smith just put out a video on his personal YouTube account showing a "blind date" between Smith and Sophia.

Things get awkward fast, but at the very least, Sophia seems to have a better grasp on humor than Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation ever did, although she still thinks of them as "irrational human behavior". See the whole thing below:



It's a bizarre premise, and it's just as bizarre in execution. Sophia is an extremely advanced artificially intelligent robot, capable of making at least 62 different facial expressions and analyzing and responding to human speech. To show off these advanced capabilities, Smith makes jokes about robots like heavy metal (turns out she likes electronic music) and he keeps offering her drinks which she's incapable of doing much with. 

Things reach a fever pitch of weirdness with Smith leans in for a kiss, to which Sophia shows an advanced knowledge of human dating behavior by asking if they can remain friends. It seems the robot is uncomfortable with all the times Smith attacked fictional machines in movies like I, Robot - that movie ended up being fairly sympathetic to androids, but it's still easy to see how a robotic viewer might be uncomfortable.



Smith's motivations for making this video seem to be little more than either a fascination with the new technology, or Hanson Robotics' attempts at spreading the word about Sophia. She's given speeches at the United Nations and debated Elon Musk about whether AI is going to kill all humans in the end, a fear that Musk is very vocal about, but a date with the Fresh Prince might draw in some more popular appeal.

Or it's possible this was Smith's pitch for a movie - he's starred in movies fighting everything from robots, aliens, orcs, robot spiders (thank you Wild Wild West), the vampire-thingies from I Am Legend, and more robots. Maybe he wants to star in a romance with one of them instead?
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