Sophia the robot meets Ethiopia PM, attends ICT expo
Daniel Mumbere 02/07 - 16:30 ETHIOPIA
Sophia, the famous humanoid robot, has finally met Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, after her lost body parts were found.
A bag containing some parts of the robot was lost at Frankfurt airport last week, leading to the cancellation of a press conference scheduled to take place on Friday at the Ethiopian National Museum and dinner with Abiy on the same day.
Abiy’s chief of staff, Fitsum said the meeting finally happened on Monday, with the prime minister committing to support the innovation eco-syetem in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia will increase support to nurture an innovation eco-system and create opportunities for our best and brightest.
‘‘Sophia, the first humanoid robot-today visited HE PM Abiy. He was pleased to hear the brilliant Ethiopia AI developers at @iCog_Labs were part of her dev’t. Ethiopia will increase support to nurture an innovation eco-system and create opportunities for our best and brightest,’‘ read Fitsum’s tweet.
Designed by Hong Kong firm Hanson Robotics, Sophia has been programmed to speak Amharic, Ethiopia’s official language, which would be the first language she speaks other than English.
Getnet Asefa, the manager of Icog Labs, the engineering firm behind her Amharic programming, had explained on Friday that Sophia was fixable and they would find alternative parts for her.
Sophia is attending the 2nd International ICT Expo Ethiopia, 2018 which opened on Monday under the theme “Transform Ethiopia.”
Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen, said Ethiopia needs technology-based development to attain its development targets.
Sophia became the first Android citizen in history when she was rewarded Saudi Arabian citizenship.
A Hanson Robotics invention, Sophia is the world’s most advanced android. The ‘realest’ robot to this day, Sophia’s covering artificial skin consists of organic and non-organic material.
The robot is able to express her ‘emotions’ through a number of facial expressions installed via a large number of motors under her ‘skin,’ according to an article by AFP.
To maintain eye contact and ensure the robot is able to recognize human faces, the robot has cameras installed in her eyes and torso.
Sophia has been programmed to carry out non-scripted conversations, during which she is able to collect emotional data and form emotional relations.
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