How it feels to meet Sophia, a machine with a human face

TV presenter Michael Mosley interviewed an advanced humanoid called Sophia, with state-of-the-art facial expressions. What was it like?

Sophia is one of the world’s most sophisticated humanoid robots. As she chats with people, she emulates sadness, anger, curiousity, happiness, and other social cues, thanks to a life-like face made of a delightfully-named material called frubber (“flesh rubber”). Her designers at Hanson Robotics say her appearance was inspired by Audrey Hepburn.

Her face is made of a material called frubber – “flesh rubber”

BBC television presenter Michael Mosley sat down with Sophia and peppered her with a series of prepared questions, eliciting answers on everything from the jokes she knows to her opinion of humanity’s best and worst traits. In this interview, she’s not using artificial intelligence – her answers are scripted – but the interaction gives a compelling insight into how we might interact with humanoids like her in the future, and the emotions they might elicit in ourselves.

Sophia is featuring as a ‘spokesperson’ for BBC Earth TV’s Being Human season. Discover more stories and videos at bbcearth.com.