Attendees to a press conference at the Malta Blockchain Summit this afternoon were treated to the sight of a humanoid robot speaking in Maltese.
Sophia, who was last year granted citizenship by Saudi Arabia in a first-ever move, praised the benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain and quipped that Malta will become her favourite country if technological advances eventually let her enjoy the island’s beaches.
In an unexpected twist, she then switched to Maltese.
“Grazzi ħafna, kuntent li ninsab magħkom f’pajjiż li qed jagħmel suċċess fl-innovazzjoni diġitali (Thank you very much, I am pleased to be with you in a country that is making such a success of digital innovation),” she said, to claps from the audience.
At the press conference, parliamentary secretary for the digital economy Silvio Schembri announced the government’s initial plans to regulate AI. A taskforce will be set up, which will consult experts in the field of AI, including the creators of Sophia – David Hanson, the founder of Hanson Robotics, and Ben Goertzel, the chief scientist of Hanson Robotics and the founder of AI marketplace SingularityNET.