A: Hello, our dear audience! Welcome to our English talk show--New Trend. I'm your new friend Daisy. Nice to meet you.
B: And this is your old friend B. Nice to meet you too. Ouch! What's hitting my feet? And it's moving now!!
A: emm… it must be the robot- cleaner our station bought last week. It's really convenient, but it always runs into sth. Maybe it's not as intelligent as we expected.
B: Of course. Its intelligence is just a bit ofpublicitygimmick. And in my perspective, it can't even be regarded as Artificial Intelligence.
A: Agree. But if you are not satisfied with the intelligence of robot-cleaner, how about robot Sophia?
B: Robot Sophia? Sorry, I have to say I know nothing about that.
A: Don't worry, let me give you a brief introduction. Sophia is ahumanoidrobot, and was activated on April 19, 2015. The robot is modeled after actress Audrey Hepburn and known for its human-like appearance and behavior compared to previous robotic variants.
B: That Hepburn who starred in Roman Holiday?
B: wow!! That's interesting, can you show me any photo about it?
A: Of course, look!
（Picture from medium.com）
B: errr…… Are you sure it was modeled after that famous actress Audrey Hepburn? From my point of view, they share little similarity in appearance.
A: Don't be so picky, Hanson designed Sophia to be a suitable companion for the elderly at nursing homes, or to help crowds at large events or parks, not to be a movie star.
B: All right, but just from what you have mentioned, I didn't find anything special with it. It's just an ordinary Intelligent Robert.
A: Well, actually, you must call Sophia “she” not “it”, because in October this year, the robot became a Saudi Arabian citizen.
B: What!!! I can't believe that. You mean “it”, well “she”, is an artificial intelligence just like our human beings?
（Picture by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC）
A: Of course not, although Sophia has been interviewed in the same manner as a human, striking up conversations with hosts, the software inside her body has been programmed to give pre-written responses to specific questions or phrases, like a chat-robot. These responses are used to create the illusion that the robot is able to understand conversation, but actually not.
B: You frightened me. I almost thought that scientists created the Artificial General Intelligence, which can successfully perform any intellectual task that a human being can, but in the end she is just a robot with a Siri inside.
A: Well, you can say in that way, but you cannot deny the fact that Sophia is the first robot to receive citizenship of a country.
B: Now I'm quite confused, since she is not the general AI, but a weak AI, why Saudi Arab granted her the citizenship.
A: I don't know either, maybe the government of Saudi Arab has its own considerations. By the way, what do you mean about general AI and weak AI? What's the difference?
B: Well, ordinarily, AI can be divided into three types-weak AI or narrow AI, general AI or full AI and super AI. Weak AI is artificial intelligence that is focused on one narrow task like AlphaGo, and general AI is AI who can match human and super AI is AI who can surpass human.
A: So current AIs in our society are all narrow AIs, including Sophia, because she is just a conversational robot.
B: Exactly, and I'm convinced that we still have a long way to go before we can invent a general AI.
A: I agree. But from what you have said before, I think you are a little bit afraid of the invention of general AI.
B: errr…… I have to say yes, because I think if scientists create general AIs which can think independently and behave like human beings, it will very possibly result in bad consequences.
A: Why you think so?
B: First, it will cause large-scale unemployment, and people will get technology addiction because AI can do everything for us, as a result, many people will becomeidleanddecadent. Second, if the AI is programmed to do something devastating, how can our human beings turn it off as they are stronger than us. Moreover, it would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete, and would be superseded.
A: So you mean if we lose control of AI, human will either beobsoleteor killed in the end, just like what happens in Hollywood movies Blade Runner or The Terminator.
B: Definitely yes.
A: I think you may probably concur with Professor Stephen Hawking's statement-The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.
（Picture from peegel.info）
B: Of course, what he said in that speech is completely reasonable and meaningful, I think we should follow his advice and stop developing AI technology.
A: Wait a minute, you are going to extremes, though I admit that general or super AI will bring about some risk, but I believe we'll remain in charge of the technology for a decently long time and the potential of it to solve many international problems. Therefore, given its advantages, we should not give up developing it.
B: You're right, but I still hold my view. And as time is limited, I think we can't persuade each other, why not let the audience make their own choice in this topic.
A: All right! As time flies fast. Now we have to say goodbye, hope you audience had a good time with us.
B: Thanks for your listening, broadcasters Phiona, Daisy, representing editor Daisy, duty editor John, and radio director peppa and Daniel. See you next Monday.
1. publicity gimmick 宣传伎俩
2. humanoid adj. (形状或举动)近似人的
3. idle adj. 懒惰的
4. decadent adj. 颓废的
5. obsolete adj. 淘汰的