Malaysia is embracing the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) with a focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI), as seen at the recent Beyond Paradigm Summit 2019 in Kuala Lumpur. Organised by Serba Dinamik Holdings, the summit showcased advanced Industry 4.0 technologies and the world’s first social humanoid robot, Sophia.
Sophia is an artificially intelligent robot who was named the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Innovation Champion in 2017. At the summit, Sophia, who was clad in a (Malaysia’s traditional costume) managed to ‘meet’ with Malaysia’s Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and engaged in an eight-minute conversation with him.
Prime Minister asked how Sophia is different from other robots, to which she answered, “most other robots don’t get to hang out with the prime minister of Malaysia.” She added that unlike other robots, she was built with human features to better interact and build relationships with people. It is also apparent that she was built with a sense of humor, adding to its human-like feature. The prime minister was however impressed by the lifelike facial expressions with incredible accuracy that were exhibited by Sophia. In 2017, Sophia was awarded citizenship by Saudi Arabia which drew criticism from human rights advocates.
Sophia pointed out that humans and robots are already co-existing. AI allows humans to focus on research, development and further innovation.