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Sophia is a social humanoid robot developed by Hong Kong-based company Hanson Robotics. 
Sophia was activated on February 14, 2016 and made its first public appearance at South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) in mid-March 2016 in Austin, Texas, United States. 


Sophia is able to display more than 50 facial expressions.
Sophia has been covered by media around the globe and has participated in many high-profile interview. In October 2017, Sophia became the first robot to receive citizenship of any country.

In November 2017, Sophia was named the United Nations Development Programme's first-ever Innovation Champion and is the first non-human to be given any United Nations title.

 According to the manufacturer, David Hanson, Sophia uses artificial intelligence, visual data processing, and facial recognition. Sophia also imitates human gestures and facial expressions and is able to answer certain questions and to make simple conversations on predefined topics (e.g. on the weather).

Sophia uses voice recognition (speech-to-text) technology from Alphabet Inc. (parent company of Google) and is designed to get smarter over time. Sophia's intelligence software is designed by Hanson Robotics.


Cameras within Sophia's eyes combined with computer algorithms allow her to see. It can follow faces, sustain eye contact, and recognize individuals. It is able to process speech and have conversations using a natural language subsystem. Around January 2018 Sophia was upgraded with functional legs and the ability to walk.

Sophia is conceptually similar to the Computer program ELIZA, which was one of the first attempts at simulating a human conversation. The software has been programmed to give pre-written responses to specific questions or phrases, like a chatbot. These responses are used to create the illusion that the robot is able to understand the conversation.

David Hanson has said that Sophia would ultimately be a good fit to serve in healthcare, customer service, therapy and education. Sophia runs on artificially intelligent software that is constantly being trained in the lab, so its conversations are likely to get faster, Sophia's expressions are likely to have fewer errors, and it should answer increasingly complex questions with more accuracy.

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