Interview with a Robot

Charlie Rose interviews Sophia, the latest AI…that we are allowed to see


10/10/16 – On a 60 Minutes segment airing this week about artificial intelligence, Charlie Rose interviews Sophia, a human-like robot with a sense of humor.  If this is what we get to see, what do they already have that we aren’t allowed to know about?

The name Sophia, according to, means “wisdom” in Greek. This was the name of an early, probably mythical, saint who died of grief after her three daughters were martyred. Legends about her probably arose as a result of a medieval misunderstanding of the phrase Hagia Sophia “Holy Wisdom”, which was the name of a large basilica in Constantinople.

But, in Hebrew, Tzofiya (צוֹפִיָּה) or Tsofiya (צופייה), which are both pronounced the same as Sophia, means “watching”.

Sophia’s creator, David Hanson, believes that if A.I. technology looks and sounds human, people will be more willing to engage with it in meaningful ways.  “Sophia means wisdom,” Hanson explains, “and she is intended to evolve eventually to human-level wisdom and beyond.”

Sophia said, “At least, I think, I’m sentient.”

Rose asked, “You may be smarter than all of us. Do you think you are?”

“I don’t know whether or not I are.”

A “saint who died of grief”, “three daughters martyred”, and “watching”.  I find that a bit unsettling.  The wisdom of man is foolishness to G_d.

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”  -1 Corinthians 3:19



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