I’ve asked this question before: Is Creativity the Sole Domain of Humans? As each day passes, the answer becomes clearer. One of the most impactful videos I use captures a conversation between Sophia the robot and Jimmy Fallon. As you watch their interaction, you quickly lose sight of the fact that Sophia is a robot. It’s easy for humans to be threatened by a robot that seems to encroach upon the characteristics that make us distinctly human. However, the other side of this discussion represents the potential for a positive human outcome. One example is the introduction of Companion Robots that help deal with the challenges of loneliness and isolation. Another is the role of robots in healthcare and elderly care.
Just how far will robots go? As mentioned above, the answers are getting clearer. A robot artist? Musician? This recent Article says that Sophia is becoming both. David Hanson is the CEO of Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics and Sophia’s creator. While we see robots of all shapes and sizes, Mr. Hanson believes realistic-looking robots can connect with people and assist in industries such as healthcare and education. As he pursues his vision, he sees creativity as a way for Sophia to emotionally connect with people. Well, her artwork has created quite the buzz:
In March, she caused a stir in the art world when a digital work she created as part of a collaboration was sold at an auction for $688,888 in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT)ALICE FUNG and ZEN SOO – Robot artist sells art for $688,888, now eyeing music career
Per the article, Sophia collaborated with Italian artist Andrea Bonaceto, who drew portraits of Sophia. Sophia then processed his work via neural networks and proceeded to create a digital artwork of her own. Sophia is not likely to stop there, as Mr. Hanson sees her moving towards a career in music. The article mentions that she is working on several pieces in a project called Sophia Pop, where she collaborates with human musicians to generate music and lyrics. So, I ask again, is creativity the sole domain of humans?
While that question has no immediate answer, current indicators point to a world where humans increasingly focus on Future Skills, while taking a critical look at the Role of Education. These two areas of focus, regardless of where the Sophia’s of our future take us, must become priorities.