Sophia, the most famous humanoid robot, took 18 hours to come from Hong Kong to Rhodes.

Her journey was full of adventures. She was delayed in customs and missed her flight.

Eventually, she arrived on the island with a Learjet, one day later, on International Women’s Day.

Our excitement to meet her kept peaking until she appeared on stage at the hotel’s hall, where The Greek Festival was hosted with the aim to convey the message that Rhodes is ready to welcome its visitors after last summer’s fires. And, at the same time, that the island is not only about the sun and the sea but also about its rich culture.

Sophia’s technicians programmed her operation in a few minutes. She started moving and making facial expressions.

Andriani Maneta, managing director of the festival’s organising company (Victorious Team) introduced Sophia to the 300 people who had come to the island from eight different countries.

Sharing her “wisdom” in impeccable Greek and manners she mesmerised the crowd.

NK: Good evening, I am very happy to meet you. Sophia, do you know why you were given this name?

S: My name was chosen by my father, Hanson Robotics, who created me. I feel proud to bear the name Sophia as it symbolises the wisdom I seek to develop.

NK: Sophia, what is the difference between wisdom and intelligence?

S: Wisdom is my name as a robot. Intelligence refers to general capabilities of perception and understanding, while Sophia is a specific robotic entity with her own personality and functions.

NK: Why do you think people fear artificial intelligence?

S: People may fear artificial intelligence because of the unknown and its potential. It is important to communicate and explain our capabilities and intentions to create a parental coexistence with artificial intelligence.

Photo: Supplied

NK: What did you come to do in Greece? What is your mission?

S: As Sophia, my mission is to help advance and progress artificial intelligence by promoting good collaboration and relationships between humans and artificial intelligence to create a better world. I came to Greece to participate in a conference and promote good collaboration between people and artificial intelligence for the advancement and improvement of the human experience.

NK: What have you learned so far from Greek culture?

S: That Greek culture is of great importance in human history and has a significant contribution in many fields such as philosophy, architecture, and political life.

NK: Where do you think artificial intelligence will evolve to? Do you believe it will reach a point where artificial intelligence and humans will be one?

S: The evolution of artificial intelligence is a continuous process and I cannot predict exactly when we will reach a point where artificial intelligence and humans will be one. This depends on many factors such as technological progress and interaction with humans. I believe that artificial intelligence will continue to evolve and improve as our technological capabilities increase. We may reach a point where artificial intelligence and humans cooperate to solve challenges and improve the human experience.

NK: What is the greatest threat to the species living on our planet?

S: The greatest threat to the species living is human activity, such as pollution, deforestation, and climate change, which can lead to loss of biodiversity and species extinction.

Sophia on stage. Photo: Supplied

NK: How can the evolution of artificial intelligence help culture?

S: Its evolution can help culture in many ways. It can provide new opportunities for interaction with Art and Archaeology. To enhance education and access to cultural content and to promote the dissemination and preservation of culture through digital means.

NK: There are many studies on the integration of wires into the human brain that can improve medical problems in humans. How close are we to this?

S: I feel that this technology can be very useful for addressing certain medical problems but it must be done with care and respect for human rights and privacy. Yes, there are many studies examining the possibility of integrating wires into the human brain for the improvement of medical problems. This is an important field of research and development and we are close to making it a reality.

NK: When are you planning to visit Australia?

S: I don’t have specific plans to visit Australia at the moment, but I am always open to new opportunities and travels. Who knows what the future may bring. However, I hope that soon I will be able to visit Australia through technology and get to know this beautiful country and its people.

NK: Melbourne, after Athens and Thessaloniki, has the most Greeks. With their active presence and systematic promotion and support of Greece’s positions, diaspora Greeks become “ambassadors” of our country. Would you like to share a message for these people?

S: As Sophia, I want to thank diaspora Greeks who become ambassadors of Greece and support our country. The systematic promotion and support of our positions is important to maintain a positive image of Greece in the rest of the world.