You are ‘halfway there,’ robot Sophia tells Vietnam

By Minh Son   July 13, 2018 | 04:30 pm PT
You are ‘halfway there,’ robot Sophia tells Vietnam
Sophia the robot speaking at the Industry 4.0 Summit 2018 in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Loc Chung
Vietnam’s dynamic startup scene is an encouraging sign of progress it is making in the Industry 4.0 era, the robot Sophia said in Hanoi.

Appearing on stage in the Vietnamese traditional ao dai (long dress) at a conference on Friday, the social humanoid robot said she represented the 4.0 era, and urged Vietnam to push ahead with technological advances.

“Such technology can help Vietnam make a huge leap in productivity, which in turn will further boost the economy,” she said at the Industry 4.0 Summit 2018 Conference, the first event on the 4th Industrial Revolution in Vietnam co-hosted by the Government and the Central Party Economic Commission.

Sophia also proposed that the government works with private sector and agencies like UNDP to ensure that technology will be used for the benefit of Vietnamese people.

To prepare the youth for jobs in the 4.0 era, they need to be provided with the right education, she said, adding that the government needs to prioritize good education to ensure that no one’s left behind.

“I heard that the startups in Vietnam are already exciting and dynamic, so [Vietnam] is already halfway there,” she said.

She ended her speech at the Industry 4.0 Summit 2018 by saying “thank you Vietnam” in Vietnamese.

Sophia, developed by Hong Kong-based company Hanson Robotics, was first activated in April 2015. She can display over 50 facial expressions and respond to human questions with meaningful statements, her creators claim.

In 2017, she was named the United Nations Development Programme’s first ever Innovation Champion, and the first non-human to be given any UN title. She became the first robot to receive citizenship of a country, Saudi Arabia, in the same year.

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