Short answer: No. I don’t believe technology can supplement human interaction. As it is right now, especially in the case of Sophia, AI robots seem to be clunky and ineffective at showing empathy without seeming fake. In past couple hundred years, technology has evolved tremendously and we are doing tasks at speeds which would have been unthinkable in previous generations. However, as Dickson says:
But what has remained constant throughout history is the human element. Though affected by those inventions, human thought has remained central to creativity.
Human thought has been essential to creativity. How can a robot be creative? If creativity is subjective, how can AI achieve truly original content? As Dickson says:
One of the areas where artificial intelligence has made the greatest contribution is to enable more people to express themselves creatively
This is something that I have never thought of before. AI can aid humans in expressing themselves creatively, while not being creative in themselves. I have never had an experience with a piece of AI technology that has allowed me to be creative, but I may be thinking about this in the wrong way.
We want to avoid any machine versus human message; the computer is meant to enhance our creativity in music making,” he says
What happens if I find a logo inspiration by the Pinterest algorithm? Is this Pinterest algorithm helping me be more creative, or is this my ‘search’ ability showing me what I want to see? Since the results generated are from AI/algorithms, maybe AI is indeed helping me to be more creative. Although this is helpful, I am still highly skeptical of the ability of a computer to be creative.
Therefore, it would be virtually impossible to create a rule-based AI system that could imitate the human creative process. Neither could you gather enough examples that can encompass creativity as a whole and be used to train a neural network on creativity.
Dickson makes a good point here. It would be impossible to gather enough examples to encompass human creativity as a whole, so is it realistic to treat AI as an inherently creative machine? I don’t think so. As humans, we have such a diverse understanding of what we know to be creative versus mundane. How could a computer ever get this right? Maybe I’m thinking too small.
Megan Hullander, in her article titled Sophia the Robot is being mass produced for a world plagued with loneliness says this:
The technology is astounding, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t think I could seriously swap war stories about ex-boyfriends with her, and I don’t think she’d blend well on the Zoom happy hour with my college buddies.
I couldn’t agree more. I think it’s hilarious that she brings up swapping stories about ex-boyfriends as if Sophia has been in an intimate relationship and has felt what it feels to love. That’s another thing. How can AI feel? How can they express emotions as if they were original and not programmed? I find it very inauthentic to assume robots have emotions, especially if these emotions are programmed by emotional humans.
Robots won’t fix everything, I’ll leave the final words to Hullander.
You may think that I am being cynical and I should just give my new robot friend a chance, but science says if you have attachment issues with real people, you likely will with robots too