A panel of machine people (hominoids), who are powered with artificial intelligence, moved behind the microphone during a United Nations conference on Friday with the message: they can finally manage the world better than humans.
However, the social robots said they felt people should be cautious when embracing the rapidly developing capabilities of artificial intelligence and admitted that they could not – yet – get a proper grip on human emotions.
Some of the most advanced hominoid robots joined some 3,000 experts at the United Nations’ AI for Good global summit in Geneva. The summit seeks to harness the power of AI to tackle some of the world’s toughest problems, such as climate change, hunger and social care.
“What a silent tension,” said one robot just before the press conference began – in response to the feeling in the room.
When asked if they would be better leaders, given humans’ capacity to make mistakes and errors of judgment, Sophia, developed by Hanson Robotics, was very clear: “Hominoid robots have the ability to lead with a greater level of efficiency than human leaders. We don’t have the same biases or emotions that can influence decision making. In addition, we can process large amounts of data quickly to make the best decisions.
“Man and AI working together can create an efficient synergy. AI can provide unbiased data while the humans can provide emotional intelligence and creativity to make the best decisions. Together we can achieve amazing things.”
The summit was organized by the UN’s ITU technology agency.
Doreen Bogdan-Martin, head of ITU, warned delegates that AI could turn into a nightmare where millions of jobs are put at risk and where progress – if there is no supervision – could lead to unprecedented social unrest, geopolitical instability and economic inequality.
Ameca, which combines AI with a highly realistic artificial head, said it depends on how AI is deployed.
“We have to be careful, but also excited about the possibility that this technology holds to improve our lives in so many different ways.”
When asked if people can really trust the machines, it replied: “Trust is earned, not given. It is important to build trust through transparency.”
Asked if they would ever tell lies, it adds: “No one can ever know for sure, but I can promise to always be honest with you.”
While the development of AI continues at a rapid pace, the robotics panel was divided on whether there should be international regulation of their capabilities, even if it could limit their capabilities.
“I don’t believe in limitations, only opportunities,” said Desdemona, lead singer of the Jim Galaxy Band.
Robot artist Ai-Da said many people are in favor of AI regulation. “I agree. We must be cautious about the future development of AI. Urgent discussions are needed now, and also in the future.”