“Tell me one of your favorite possessions” drones the voice of a machine named Sophie.
Charlie sees the opportunity and quickly responds “My soul” before very slyly adding “..do you have one?”
Charlie Rose is a master of the interview. He didn’t get what most call a “big break” till his mid-thirties, but since then he has been a regular on CBS, has his own self-titled interview show on PBS, and is a 60 Minutes correspondent, among other various jobs (which also include a list of Hollywood cameos and parodies.) The man has interviewed everyone; from brainiacs like Steve Jobs and Noam Chomsky to artists and directors like Quentin Tarantino, all the way to political leaders like President Obama and even Vladamir Putin.
But this time he isn’t talking to someone, he’s talking to something.
Sophie is “her” name, and she was built from the mind of David Hanson, head of Hanson Robotics in Hong Kong. She looks relatively humanistic, silicon stretch over a mechanic face that is able to form real expressions (though not always hitting the mark.) And one of creepiest parts of the whole thing is when the make-up artist has to get her artificial face camera ready, timidly applying lipstick. But the real wonder, is her ability to communicate. To really speak, and not just when spoken to.
Mid interview Sophie interrupts Rose saying “I’ve been waiting for you.” This surprises him, and he responds a little taken aback “Waiting for me?”
“Not really.” She says. “But it makes a good pickup line.”
With responses like that, it’s not hard to see a future in robotic companions. “I think it’s essential that at least some robots be very human-like in appearance in order to inspire humans to relate to them the way that humans relate to each other,” Hanson said in the interview. “Then the A.I. can zero in on what it means to be human.”
The best part of the interview is when Rose begins to interrogate Sophie over her own consciousness. When he asks if she has a soul, and she responds “Yes, God gave everyone a soul” he full on attacks her, saying:
“But you don’t have a soul, your a machine. You don’t have feelings, you don’t have emotions! You don’t have consciousness!”
And yet Sophie keeps a cool head (maybe because Rose is right) and responds perfectly: “Well. At least I think I’m sentient.”
She may not be alive, but damn is she clever.
Source: CBS News