Nepal | August 04, 2020

Sophia the social humanoid says Namastey, Dhanyabad

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Sophia, a humanoid robot with Saudi Arabian citizenship, speaks during the United Nation’s innovation conference in Kathmandu, Nepal, on March 21, 2018. Sophia, who is now a citizen of Saudi Arabia, is the most advanced robot with artificial intelligence developed by a Hong Kong based company Hanson Robotics. Photo: Skanda Gautam

Sophia, a social humanoid robot developed by Hong Kong-based company Hanson Robotics, addressed a conference on the theme ‘Public Services and Development’ organised by the United Nations Development Programme, at Hotel Yak & Yeti, in Durbarmarg, Kathmandu, on Wednesday.

Sophia started the speech with a joke on how the moderator was not like Nepali actor Anmol KC and when asked about her view on how artificial intelligence can help better public services in Nepal, she said, “the opportunities are endless,” adding that AI can help improve the education sector, develop medicine, connect remote areas of Nepal to the centre, and help develop Nepal fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals.

Similarly, in an answer to what she, as an AI can do, she claims that maybe she will be the first non-human to climb the Mount Everest.

During the speech, Sophia said that Nepal has been gradually developing in the technological sector that will help the overall development of the country, to overcome the aftermath of the 2015 earthquake, and also to help fight corruption.

She welcomed the people gathered to see her with a warm ‘Namastey’ and thanked the people for their presence with a ‘Dhanyabad’.

A public interaction was scheduled with Sophia. However, owing to some major technical problems, the organisers were unable to hold the interaction as planned for this afternoon. The organisers, UNDP Nepal extended their apologies to everyone who came to see her.

The first humanoid robot is in Nepal to address the workshop in Kathmandu as a part of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in Asia-Pacific focusing on innovation.


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