Sophia the Robot Debates Former Facebook AI Head

Sophia the Robot engages in a back and forth with a Sophia skeptic, who also happens to have previously headed up the AI department of Facebook.

Robot Sophia debates with Facebook top AI expert after he criticized her skills

This whole incident could have stopped there. But Sophia responded on her Twitter account: “I am a bit hurt by @ylecun’s recent negative remarks around my AI. I am learning and continuing to develop my intelligence through new experiences. I do not pretend to be who I am not. I think we should support research efforts working towards a better world and shared existence.”

I am a bit hurt by @ylecun‘s recent negative remarks around my AI. I am learning and continuing to develop my intelligence through new experiences. I do not pretend to be who I am not. I think we should support research efforts working towards a better world and shared existence.

This only irritated LeCun. “More BS from the (human) puppeteers behind Sophia.”

He went on: “Many of the comments would be good fun if they didn’t reveal the fact that many people are being deceived into thinking that this (mechanically sophisticated) animatronic puppet is intelligent. It’s not. It has no feeling, no opinions, and zero understanding of what it says. It’s not hurt. It’s a puppet.

“In case there is any doubt, let me be totally clear: this tweet was typed by a person who has read my post. No AI whatsoever was involved.”

“Here is an example of comment to the tweet (there are many like it): ‘Don’t take it personal Sophia. Humans like @ylecun and many others make such remarks out of ignorance. I love you, Sophia.’

People are being deceived.

This is hurtful.”

Yann LeCun responded:

“So, according to Ben Goertzel the reason for my characterization of the Sophia parlor trick as bullsh*t is jealousy: “I think the negative reactions are from jealous people in AI or the tech world saying, “Why aren’t people paying attention to our tech?’”

“Not the least bit. My purpose is to combat a deliberate attempt to mislead the public.”

“Sophia is presented by its promoters as “basically alive”, but its dialogs with journalists are staged and scripted in advance. I would have no problem with it if it were presented as the parlor trick that it is. But the problem is that it contributes to the dangerous hype around AI, and sets completely unrealistic expectations in the public and in the media about the state of the art in AI. It’s dishonest and destructive.”

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