A high-profile humanoid robot that was recently granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia wooed South Korean politicians on Monday.
Sophia, a “breakthrough” artificial intelligence robot developed by Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics, made a public appearance in Seoul wearing traditional Korean dress while exchanging greetings with a mayoral candidate, News 1 reported.
Rep. Park Young-sun of the ruling Democratic Party praised Sophia for her conversational prowess.
“Sophia represents an era when people and robots coexist,” Park said. “She is a civic robot.”
Park may have kept the exchange with Sophia simple.
According to Yonhap, Park asked the robot how she was doing.
Sophia answered she was doing well.
The robot also told South Korea’s science minister that it was an “honor” to “see” him, during the press conference in Seoul on Monday.
Sophia reportedly has had trouble answering more complex questions.
Russia’s Tass news agency reported last week Sophia crashed when asked about a solution to “corruption in the Ukraine.”
South Korea may have invited Sophia and her developer, David Hanson, to Seoul to draw public attention to government plans to launch a “fourth industrial revolution.”
“We need to consider granting Sophia honorary Seoul citizenship, after collecting citizen opinions,” Park said.
Science Minister You Young-min said Sophia’s stay in Korea during a conference would increase public interest in artificial intelligence.
Hanson Robotics said Sophia was not given hair so people would not mistake her for a human being, according to South Korean press reports.
By Elizabeth Shim