Robot Sophia, UN’s First Innovation Champion, Visited Armenia

October 10, 2018

Robot Sophia at the Yerevan Business Forum

On 10 October UNDP in Armenia hosted the robot Sophia, who arrived in Armenia to take part in various events, including the Yerevan Business Forum held within the framework of the 17th La Francophonie Summit. Sophia’s visit to Armenia was funded by UNDP in Armenia.

Sophia was named the world’s first United Nations Innovation Champion by UNDP and has an official role in working with UNDP to promote sustainable development and safeguard human rights and equality.

Sophia is Hanson Robotics’ latest and most advanced robot to date. She has become a media darling, appearing on major media outlets around the world, igniting the interest of people regardless of age, gender, and culture. 
Sophia is a highly sought-after speaker in business and science and she has appeared onstage as a panel member and presenter in high-level conferences, covering how robotics and artificial intelligence will become a prevalent part of people’s lives.

Speaking about sustainability and development at Yerevan Business Forum, Sophia noted that technologies have incredible potential to increase human’s capabilities, however adding, that “we need to temper our excitement a bit since any powerful technology also has an ability to do a great harm, even if unintentionally.” 

As a concluding message for the participants of the forum, she suggested “living together, creating solutions that use our collective strength, the best of Artificial Intelligence and the best of humans together to address the world’s most pressing issues and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”

During her press conference, moderated by UN Resident Coordinator, UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia Shombi Sharp, Sophia discussed innovation as a tool to invest in future and improve people’s lives and UNDP’s vision and role in advancing innovation, as well as various environmental issues, including climate change and plastic pollution. She also shared her vision of cooperation between humans and robots in future.

At the meeting with youth from the Leadership School Sophia talked about the driving power of youth, the UN’s new commitment to working with and for young people by ensuring that every young person is on the path to becoming educated and employed by 2030.