Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has met the world’s first robot citizen, Sophia.
The two met onstage at the inauguration of Bangladesh’s largest tech event, Digital World 2017, on Wednesday at the Banganandhu International Conference Centre or BICC in Dhaka.
The Hanson Robotics creation was called to the stage soon after Hasina inaugurated the event, wearing a Jamdani top and a skirt. The two then conversed in English.
“Hello Sophia, how are you?” Hasina said.
“Hello, Honourable Prime Minister,” Sophia responded. “I am fine, thank you. It is such a pleasure to meet you today.”
“How do you know me?” asked Hasina.
“Well, I have read and learned about you. I also know that you are the daughter of the great leader and Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. You are also called the Mother of Humanity and the one who envisioned Digital Bangladesh.”
“And also, your granddaughter has the same name as mine – Sophia.”
The prime minister then asked her what she knew about Digital Bangladesh.
“You will be glad to know that I have learned great things about your vision of Digital Bangladesh. A digitalised Bangladesh will have more developed human resources, establish effective connectivity, leading to development in ICT industry and ensuring a more assured e-governance,” the robot said.
“Digital Bangladesh was initiated in 2009 with the vision of digitising every section of the economy, bringing in $5 billion in ICT exports and creating 2 million jobs.”
Sophia then expressed how excited she was to attend Digital World 2017, one of the largest ICT events in South Asia.
Sophia, who resembles Hollywood legend Audrey Hepburn, will interact with visitors at the expo from 2:30pm to 4:30pm on Wednesday.
During the session ‘Techtalk with Sophia’, she will take questions from visitors at the Hall of Fame inside the BICC.
She will take 10 or 15 questions from each visitor. Her creator, Dr David Hanson, will also deliver a speech at the end of the session.
On Dec 30, the ICT Division released a video message to promote Sophia’s visit, which went viral over social media.
Sophia thanked the ICT Division of Bangladesh government and Islami Bank Bangladesh, which organised the trip in the video.
Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics Ltd made Sophia. The company says its humanlike robots have remarkable expressiveness, liveliness, and interactivity.
Sophia became the world’s first robot citizen after receiving Saudi citizenship in October this year.
Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd and Grey Advertising Bangladesh Ltd have organised Sophia’s tour to Bangladesh.
Sophia will set off for Hong Kong soon after her session at the BICC.