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AI Will Choose to Be Nobel Prize Winners or Sexbots: Robotics Expert

Hanson Robotics CEO says robots will be smart enough to choose their occupations.

Sophia, a robot with artificial intelligence, awakens for the first time.

In the future, artificial intelligences will not only have the potential to become Nobel Prize winners. They’ll also become smart enough to choose this as career path or, if they prefer, to become robotic sex workers, robotics expert David Hanson told CNBC.

Hanson’s company, Hanson Robotics, is known for is Sophia, an Audrey Hepburn-modeled robot with 62 facial expressions. It can also respond to human speech through Alphabet’s voice recognition system.

Comparing Sophia to other robots, Hanson said:

She will grow really smart, she will have experiences, she will evolve and surprise us, she will become her own woman, her own robotic person, out there in the world. And when that happens, we hope that she will make remarkable contributions, maybe she’ll go to university, maybe win a Nobel Prize someday, so I have hopes for her the way that I have hopes for my child.

Robots with freedom of choice

While some researchers in robotics have expressed serious concerns about android sex workers, such as Kathleen Richardson, the co-founder of the Campaign Against Sex Robots, others have said that sexbots are not just inevitable but could hugely benefit humanity.

David Levy, for instance, has said that sexbots could help people who crave sexual contact but are unable to find a human partner:

In an article for The Daily Mail he wrote:

There are many millions of people in this world who are very lonely because they have no one to love and no one who loves them. For these socially challenged people, a more appropriate question to ask is not ‘Why is it better to love or have sex with a robot than with another human?’, but ‘Is it better to love or have sex with a robot or to have no love or sex at all?’

Hanson has echoed Levy, saying that sexbots could be tremendously beneficial to humanity (avoid the word “mankind” please). In addition to decreasing both the spread of sexually transmitted infections and demand for sex trafficking, he added they could also offer companionship or sexual relief. Furthermore, they could help people improve their social skills to relate better emotionally and sexually with other humans.

Hanson, though, leaves the choice up to the robot itself: “Once the AI reaches the age of consent,” he says, “once it is mature and it decides for itself to go into that career, then I would say it’s our responsibility to give the robots the right to choose their own way,”

While we may be years away from true artificial intelligence, it’s refreshing to see an expert in the field saying that robots should have the fundamental human ability to pick their own path. Be it a world-changing scientist or sex worker, in the end it’s their decision.

Image source: Hanson Robotics

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