All decked out in Ethiopian attire, Sofia was all smiles when she posed for cameras at the ICT International Expo in Addis Ababa.And the crowds couldn’t get enough of the Android.
Sofia was designed to look like British actress Audrey Hepburn, complete with the slender nose, high cheekbones and an intriguing smile.Sophia is, has her own character, right?So,what we’re planning to do is build a new character which has its European flavors, which hasopen philosophies.
Sophia who was originally designed to speak English has been programmed to speak a second language, Amharic Ethiopia’s official language.In the first phase, we’re trying to add more robust text-to-speech and speech-to-text recognition, because when you talk to her she has to hear you and reply back some set of is from a set of responses.Some initially had mixed feelings about AI, but that changed after hearing what one of the world’s most advanced Androids had to say.Actually I did because like, you know, it’s like a big deal for Saudi Arabia, but I was like really nervous because I’m scared of her basically an artificial intelligence.But when she started talking, she was saying that you know she wanted to help humanity, and she was saying that you know artificial intelligence is a good thing, so I thought that speech was really good.
Sofia was activated about three years ago and made headlines last year when she became the first robot to receive official citizenship from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.Given the response from her fans here, could Ethiopia be next?
Mariama Diallo, VOA News.