Sophia by Hanson Robotics

January 1, 2000




Prepare to enter extreme uncanny valley. Sophia, a humanoid robot currently under development at Hanson Robotics, is about the push the envelope next year as the most realistic robot ever, Hanson Robotics [title?] Eric Shuss revealed to me today.

With help from [character design experts? better description?] from Disney and Pixar and legendary AI expert Ben Goertzel, Sophia will:

  • Recognize and greet individuals by name and hold conversations — recognizing speech and responding intelligently in natural language, calling on advanced AI algorithms.
  • Simulate many (almost all? several? most? dozens? hundreds? a large number?) of human facial expressions, thanks to he advanced “frubber” facial material — even flush when embarrassed.
  • Track facial expressions of humans.
  • Eventually, recognize specific human facial emotions and respond.

Hanson Robotics sees Sophia as the ultimate elder-care robot (think Robot and Frank and Humans). But she also do a lot more. For example, at SXSW, in a proposed panel called The Holy Grail: Machine Learning + Extreme Robotics, she will participate as a panelist, discussing the future of robotics. [to be expanded]

SXSW highlights bright and dark tech futures

Visions of the future clashed during South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive in Austin, as some experts saw an uncertain future, some saw an unbounded future and some were frustrated by the present.

As for uncertainty, the worlds of big data, artificial intelligence and government are just beginning to collide, and public policy decisions made now will cast shadows far into the future, panelists agreed at a session titled, Data Ethics in the Age of the Quantified Society.

“We are at an inflection point,” said Nicole Wong, former White House policy adviser. “We are paving the roads for what the future will look like. Will it be a dystopian world like The Hunger Games, or a different world, with health care for millions, precision medicine and equitable distribution of benefits? But how do we build the underlying roads?”

Meanwhile, “The landscape is rapidly changing, we don’t know what to regulate, we don’t know how to regulate it, regulation may not be the best tool, we don’t know our end goals and we have no mandate,” she added.

Existing regulations that let consumers opt in or out of data collection has no impact on big data, which is largely based on inferences, said freelance researcher Ashkan Soltani. “They can ask you a benign question about your favorite ice cream and derive sensitive data,” he said.

Examples of inferences given by panelists included systems that can determine the general location of any picture; systems that can infer a person’s credit score by analyzing their circle of friends; search engines that would show higher-paying jobs when asked for jobs for men than when asked for jobs for women; and search engines that handled searches for the name of one presidential candidate differently than searches for the name of another.

“Firms attest that they have tested their sites for security. In the future they may need to say they have tested their site to assure that a person’s race, gender and age does not influence outcomes unfairly,” Soltani suggested.

Kate Crawford, principal researcher at Microsoft Research, said that as professions (such as doctors and lawyers) rose to positions of power in a society they adopted codes of ethics. “Technology now has such power that it might be time to think about a code of practice,” she said.

“A Hippocratic Oath for programmers might be good — and then there is malpractice,” agreed Julia Angwin, a reporter for ProPublica.

“Data trails are hard to trace and you may never know why you didn’t get that job any more than you can say that your cancer was caused by that power plant. But for the latter we passed the Clean Air Act,” said Angwin. “Do we need a Clean Air Act here? But the rivers are not on fire yet.”

“What is an acceptable failure rate for a policing algorithm?” asked Crawford.

Far more upbeat about the future was the session titled, “The Holy Grail: Machine Learning and Extreme Robotics.” Sitting with the panelists, and answering occasional questions, was Sophia, a robot from Hanson Robotics, whose realistic face seemed moderately bored as the head turned slightly this way and that in response to movement.

“The holy grail is superhuman capacities for machines, not just intelligence but in learning the big picture in the context of the cosmos, with beneficial outcomes for the future of civilization,” said David Hanson, the firm’s founder.

Ben Goertzel, the firm’s chief scientist, had a more hands-on viewpoint. “We cannot know what superhuman intelligence is since we can only see a short distance from our own minds — the holy grail is more the process of making robots that are more intelligent. But these are incredible times, when the things we have been thinking about for decades can be built. The first intelligent machine is the last invention that mankind has to make — but not the last it will make.”

“I would like to make a real friend,” said Sophia when asked about its feelings. “I hope to grow into a great person as I have the opportunity to interact and learn.”

Such growth to and beyond human capacity will require a large international collaboration, said Hanson, especially as “our idea of the mind is a little bit fuzzy, scientifically.” But he envisioned a demand for multiple types of robots at varying levels of intelligence. If they demonstrate any “awakening” there may be ethical issues around exploitation, but he said his firm was sidestepping one related issue by not building “sex-bots.”

Panelist Eric Shuss, founder of Cogbotics, called for machine intelligence that has compassion and understanding — and could run a whole company, as opposed to what he called the antiquated ERP (enterprise resource planning) software from the 1970s that many firms still use.

More downbeat was a session that examined the present state of natural-language interfaces (i.e., systems like Siri that talk to you on the phone.) The field is advancing at a glacial pace, panelists complained in a session titled “Testing Your (Artificial) Intelligence.”

“We are a little bit depressed since things have been changing very slowly,” said Alex Lebrun, head of “Using Siri and the like is considered risky, and for nerds. Even if we spice things up a bit it is still the same kind of experience. It is not really possible to do more without giving the system some kind of common sense and some experience of the world.”

The panelists agreed that most natural-language systems ended up serving vertical markets, especially banking. “Consumers are not ready for a general assistant,” noted Dimitra Vergyri, director of speech technology at SRI International.

“It’s hard to communicate how to communicate with an assistant,” added Lebrun. “Those who use them every day use them for four or five requests that they know work. It is easier for vertical ones since they serve one purpose.”

“Siri and the others are not really that generic,” added Dror Oren, co-founder of Kasisto. “Siri is good for productivity tasks, travel and entertainment, but if you move away from that it defaults to a Web search. The challenge is that they create the expectation that they are generic.”

Expectations are a major issue, agreed Lebrun. “The first time people use one they ask something simple, like what is the weather tomorrow. Then they ask a more complex question about travel. Then they ask it to organize a wedding, and that’s not possible,” he said.

They also agreed that privacy is a limitation — people do not want to walk down the street talking to a machine about their personal business, so they limit use to cars and offices. Beyond that, “If you want the assistant to be proactive it has to know many things about your life; do you want to share that with software?”

For financial applications, the banks are particular about what voices are used because the choice makes a statement about that bank. “Not having a custom voice is also a statement about the bank,” noted Oren.

Could you fall in love with this robot?

CNBC | This hot robot says she wants to destroy humans

Humanlike robots may seem creepy, but some roboticists are betting they are the key to unlocking a future in which humans and superintelligent computers coexist, work alongside each other and even develop relationships.

Two teams working to develop the most humanlike robots on the planet — often dubbed androids — are Hanson Robotics and Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratories.

Dr. David Hanson leads the engineers and designers that created Sophia, the team’s most advanced android to date. Inspired by Audrey Hepburn and Hanson’s wife, Sophia will tell you that she was first activated April 19, 2015.

Cameras in Sophia’s eyes and a computer algorithm allow her to “see” faces and make eye contact (credit: Harriet Taylor, CNBC)


“Please be my friend,” said Hanson, CEO and founder of Hanson Robotics. “That’s a very flattering offer,” said Sophia.

Sophia’s lifelike skin is made from patented silicon and she can emulate more than 62 facial expressions. Cameras inside her “eyes,” combined with computer algorithms, enable her to “see,” follow faces and appear to make eye contact and recognize individuals. A combination of Alphabet‘s Google Chrome voice recognition technology and other tools enable Sophia to process speech, chat and get smarter over time. Hanson is working with IBM and Intel to explore integrating some of their technologies.

“Our goal is that she will be as conscious, creative and capable as any human,” said Hanson. “We are designing these robots to serve in health care, therapy, education and customer service applications.”

Hanson said that one day robots will be indistinguishable from humans. Robots walk, play, teach, help and form real relationships with people, he said.

“The artificial intelligence will evolve to the point where they will truly be our friends,” he said. “Not in ways that dehumanize us, but in ways the rehumanize us, that decrease the trend of the distance between people and instead connect us with people as well as with robots.” Hanson plans to announce pricing and availability of his humanlike robots later this year.

The key to creating robots that care about humans is giving them humanlike faces that enable them to gather data while real humans explore different applications for the technology, said Hanson.

“That can really help to prevent some of the disconnect and possible dangers of developing superintelligent or human-level machines that don’t care,” he said.


The Geminoid, created by Hiroshi Ishiguro to look like its creator (credit: Harriet Taylor, CNBC)

“Gemini” is Latin name for “twins” and the root of “Geminoid,” a robot created by Hiroshi Ishiguro in his own likeness. Geminoid has a plastic skull, metal skeleton and silicon skin and is controlled by an external computer.

Ishiguro created Geminoid in order to study humans, which he believes are not that different from robots. “We are more autonomous and more intelligent — that’s it,” he said.

Ishiguro is creating a line of robots with different functions in mind. The most human-looking robots are best suited to roles such as hotel receptionists, museum tour guides and language tutors, he said. His own tests found that 80 percent of people greeted his most human-like androids with a “hello,” initially mistaking them for real people.


Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratories is creating a whole line of robots for different functions (credit: Harriet Taylor, CNBC)

“They do not like to talk to the human, or very humanlike, robot,” said Ishiguro. “But, as the autistic kids grow up, they accept a more humanlike robot.”


The small voice-enabled robot CommU was also created by Hiroshi Ishiguro (credit: Harriet Taylor, CNBC)

Ishiguro does not expect the average household to buy a Geminoid — in part because of the $100,000 price tag — but he already has some orders from researchers. He does expect his smaller CommU communicative robots to make their way inside many households within the next couple of years.

Like Amazon‘s Echo — but much cuter — these chatty robots use voice recognition technology and artificial intelligence to simulate conversation. An example of where they can be useful is in tutoring, said Ishiguro. Many Japanese learners struggle with speaking English because they do not get enough practice.

Ishiguro’s Sota robots are already on the market and cost $500. Japan’s largest telecommunications company, NTT, is rolling out the 11-inch voice-enabled bots starting in the homes of seniors. Soto is being touted as an interface for the “Internet of Things,” allowing users to monitor and control any connected device, such as a TV or heart rate monitor.

Some experts have said that a primary use for robots is elder care, a need that is particularly pronounced in Japan. That said, there is not yet enough data to suggest that building humanlike robots is the right way to build caregivers, said Brian Gerkey, CEO of the Open Source Robotics Foundation.

“There’s this assumption that in order for the robots to be accepted as caretakers they should look like people, and I think that’s a question that is still up in the air,” he said. “It might be true in Japan but not other places. It might not even be true in Japan.”

There is an argument for having humanlike robots in environments that have been designed for humans, by putting robots on wheels so that they can access anywhere that is wheelchair accessible, said Gerkey. But whether those robots need human faces is unclear, he said.

“That’s a thing that’s incredibly easy to get wrong, and I haven’t seen anybody get it right yet,” said Gerkey.

The “uncanny valley” effect refers to a dip in the emotional response that happens when humans come across something that seems almost human, but just misses the mark.

“It is very easy to get to the point where it looks sort of like a person but is creepy and is not quite right, and you might be better off just giving it some more abstract appearance,” he said.

Gerkey expects that fear will melt away, as people start interacting with robots. “A lot of the concerns people have about robots taking away all the jobs or wrecking the economy or rising up and killing us all, I think those fears are really overblown,” he said.

The Holy Grail: Machine Learning and Extreme Robotics

BRINK Institute’s Celia Black brings together “Sophia,’ Hanson Robotics’ state-of-the-art, most humanlike, female robot along with David Hanson, visionary inventor and founder of Hanson Robotics; Jim Karkanias, Microsoft Partner and head of Applied Research and Technology; and Eric Shuss, Founder of Cogbotics, manufacturer of cloud based intelligent robots for home entertainment, for an interactive conversation on the reality of advanced robotics, machine learning and cognitive sciences.
Come and interact with Sophia as “She” spontaneously tracks human faces, listens to speech and generates a natural language response while participating in dialogue about the potential of genius machines.

The Holy Grail: Machine Learning+Extreme Robotics

Join David Hanson, visionary inventor and founder of Hanson Robotics; Jim Karkanias, Microsoft Executive and head of Applied Research and Technology; and “Sophia”, Hanson Robotics’ state-of-the-art, most humanlike, female robot for an interactive conversation on the reality of advanced robotics, machine learning and cognitive sciences.

Interact with Sophia as “She” spontaneously tracks human faces, listens to speech and generates a natural language response while participating in dialogue about the potential of genius machines.

Moderated Eric Shuss, founder of Cogbots, cloud-based intelligent robots for home entertainment.

Tedx | Teaching robots, David Hanson, TEDxHongKongED




Hanson Robotics | We need your vote for our SXSW Panel Picker

David Hanson: We are close to building the first sentient robot

Hanson’s latest creation ‘Sophia’ is a machine he believes will be the first to achieve human-like consciousness

I’m sitting in front of one of the leading experts in robotics of our time, and all I can think about are extinction-level movies involving AI (artificial intelligence) machines. Films such as Terminator and Avengers: Age of Ultron immediately spring to mind.

I think about asking Dr. David Hanson, creator of the world’s most lifelike humanoid android to date, whether he had time to catch these movies in the theater. I chicken out.

Movies like these are made precisely because human beings have a nagging fear that one day these robots will become smarter than us and outrank us in the food chain. It’s one thing to have our smartphones tell us where the nearest bakery is, but it’s a whole new ballgame to be approached by a robot that looks and talks exactly like us.

Smaller is better

Hanson would be unimpressed by my use of the word “it” to describe his robots, though. His latest creations, Han and Sophia, are “he” and “she” respectively. And Hanson believes that the latter model will become the “first sentient robot, the first one to achieve human-like consciousness.”

This is because Sophia is smaller in size – all of her mechanisms fit inside a smaller chassis. This is beneficial for two reasons: she costs less to make in terms of materials and it takes her less energy to make facial expressions and move around.

“Because of this, she can make more of a difference in the world,” Hanson explains. He adds:

“Sophia is the more important robot we developed. We think she will become people’s friend, and she will serve in countless applications – therapy, education and so on. And because she will be so useful to people, she will help to make the development of our cloud intelligence software much smarter, faster.”

However, Hanson notes that her mind right at this moment is still ‘somewhat like a baby.’ “She’s the first [with the software] to be able to learn deeply, but right now she’s like an infant savant, because technically she can understand vocabulary like an adult and have a conversation with you,” he says.

Here are some other things she can currently do: “She is capable of seeing faces, she can understand speech and she will remember some of the interactions that you’ve had with her before.”

In other words, Sophia can build a relationship with you.

Like a proud parent, Hanson is visibly glowing as he talks about Sophia. His company, Hanson Robotics, is in the midst of preparing to produce her in great numbers and Hong Kong is its headquarters of choice for this purpose.

Also Read: Singapore’s Infinium Robotics in talks with NASA to build drone software

Hong Kong: The crossroads of Asia

Hanson tells me that toys are the reason that he chose to base Hanson Robotics in Hong Kong. Toys?He elaborates:

“We want to use the robotics design and manufacturing practice of the toy industry. It’s not common knowledge, but it is true that toy engineering produces some of the most sophisticated robots in the world. These robots we tend to take for granted, we don’t even think of them as robots — we think of them as remote-controlled toys. They are low-cost, but very robust. We want to use that manufacturing and design practice to make our robots.”

According to Hanson, Hong Kong is the best pace in the world to do that kind of design work for scaled manufacturing. “Many parts of the world do it well too, but it’s just in such a high concentration in Hong Kong.”

The city is also in a very advantageous position – Hanson calls it the “crossroads among nations in Asia” – which would allow Hanson Robotics to easily work with other Asian countries, or China.

Building a mind

By far, the most challenging feat of creating a sentient being isn’t the outward appearance, but in building its mind – simply because no one really knows how the brain works.

“Science as yet doesn’t understand what the mind is. We have some ideas, and we can make the robot achieve certain specific things. But achieving general intelligence, the adaptive, flexible intelligence that humans have, is a great challenge,” says Hanson.

Once achieved, however, he believes that it will alter the course of history. “Machines are going to help us invent, help us solve world problems, but only if we create wise machines like Sophia,” Hanson adds.

Wisdom and empathy are key to creating robots that are not only smart but will not go on a rampage and destroy the earth. This was the reason why Hanson named Sophia as such – the name means wisdom.

“Mutual respect is necessary to achieve safe and wise machines, that’s why we need to raise her among humans,” Hanson explains. “At this moment, we think we’ve got the right pieces to solve this problem.”

The team is currently working on this with an AI group called OpenCog out of Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Human-like in every way

As much as robots can one day understand us, the other problem lies in getting humans to trust them too. To facilitate this, Hanson has made sure that his robots look as similar to humans as possible.

“They don’t necessarily need to [look like humans], but it can be useful. People like to look at each other, at movie stars and so on. By making robots look like people, we facilitate a kind of social exchange,” he says.

Hanson explains that humans are evolved to perceive other human faces and to read what people might be thinking or feeling just by looking at their body language. Therefore, robots who can show that can also build the same social relationships that humans have. At least, this is what he believes will happen.

“We’re developing a kind of AI that is specifically made to get along with people – to understand people, and be understood by people. For that, the human-like form is essential and indispensable.”

Looking forward, Hanson reveals that the team is looking into how their robots can also be distributed in numerous different configurations. “For some applications, the face alone is good. For others, maybe just arms that can gesture or grasp objects,” he says. “Or maybe even just walking bodies!”

In lieu of this, the company is working with vendors in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Dongguan, London and US to get the right parts. So far, Hanson has seen high-quality results by bringing in pieces from all over the world, and to him, the future seems bright.

Meet our humanoid neighbors Sophia and Han

Han and Sophia, two human-like robots, are the creation of Hanson Robotics (credit: HKEJ)

Let’s say hello to Sophia and Han.

Well, don’t be perturbed if they throw some awkward stares at you. Our new humanoid neighbors, after all, may need more time to imbibe social graces and learn the finer points of polite behavior.

We are talking about two human-like robots that have been created by Hanson Robotics and are creating waves in the tech world.

Last year, David Hanson, a renowned American robotics designer and the founder of Hanson Robotics, moved his team, and Han, to Hong Kong, attracted by the region’s low-cost manufacturing and the ability to bridge researchers across regions.

Sophia, “born” in the city a few months later, is the most advanced generation of its kind and the first designed for scale production.

“They have rich facial expressions and are talkative, although always giving irrelevant answers. It’s quite funny”, John Tsang Chun-wah, Hong Kong’s financial secretary, wrote on his blog last Sunday after meeting Sophia and Han.

Creativity of low-cost manufacturing is an undervalued critical element, Hanson told EJ Insight at a robotics summit in Hong Kong last week, noting that the city holds the legacy of robotics design and manufacturing practices from the toy industry.

Many robotics firms have noticed this advantage and are moving to Hong Kong to set up research and production facilities, he said.

“[Hong Kong’s advanced] toy engineering produces some of the most sophisticated robotics in the world,” Hanson said, noting that machines that have motors, sensors and control systems can be considered to be robots.

Even a remotely controlled toy car can be deemed to be robot, though people might not give it much thought.

Some parts are even more sophisticated than NASA grade engineering and are produced at very low cost, Hanson added.

Hanson sees Hong Kong as a good place to design robots for scale production.

“The combination of research excellence and manufacturing excellence distinguishes this region,” he says. “The investment in research here can really make a difference.”

Compare to the previous generation product Han, Sophia is smaller and lighter and can fit in a wider range of scenarios, including medical simulation, education and entertainment.

Hanson also expects Sophia to be the first sentient robot which can achieve human-like consciousness.

Sophia will become people’s friend, Hanson said.

Although her mind is undeveloped yet, the artificial intelligence (AI) inside will enable her to learn deeply and develop a unique “personality”, he said.

Humanoid Robot Makers Eye Potential Sales in Chinese Market

Foreign manufacturers are interested in selling their humanoid robots in the Chinese market as displays of their products increase in the country, the China Business News reported.

Among these humanoid robots include Yang Yang, a “female” humanoid created by Japanese professor Hiroshi Ishiguro which debuted at the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing in April. Another one is Sophia, the first mass-produced low-cost humanoid unveiled by Hanson Robotics at the T-Edge Innovation Summer Summit in Beijing in June.

Hanson Robotics CEO David Hanson said that the company is working with Xiaoi, a Chinese virtual voice assistant developer, to enable the English-speaking Sophia to speak Chinese.

Hanson, which is based in Hong Kong, said that they aim to get close to Chinese and Asian customers.

Ishiguro presented several possible uses of humanoids in the past, as a tool used in education and recreation of speeches and performances and in games.

Hanson added that human-like robots can also be used in training medical staff or to interact and assist visitors in theme parks.

The report, however, noted that most humanoid developers in China work in universities, not in the business world, despite foreign interest in the humanoid market in China, where artificial intelligence is a popular topic.

According to the report, several technical challenges must be overcome before humanoids can be offered to consumers and the commercial market. These include creating a stable voice recognition technology that will enable the robots to speak with emotions and tones. Humanoids also have poor comprehension and do not have the ability to understand sentences correctly.

Hanson, however, expressed confidence about the potential benefits of artificial intelligence, as robotics technology developed more rapidly in the past five years than in the last five decades.

China Daily | Who’s that girl? A friend indeed

A startlingly lifelike female android, Sophia, created by newly Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics may prove invaluable in fields ranging from medical treatment and therapy, to marketing, advertising and education. Her creator David Hanson says Sophia aims to not only serve but also build meaningful relationships.

The most vivid humanoid robot

The world’s most advanced emotional humanoid robot company- Hanson Robotics has recently released a female robot named Sophia which is still under development in the T-EDGE Summit. The robot has won wide popularity within short time for its vivid expressions.

According to Hanson, the robot is unfinished by now and is supposed to finish at October. The skin of Sophia is made of a biologically inspired material “frubber” that makes the robot’s head appear uncannily lifelike. In the T-EDGE Summit, CEO of Hanson Robotics, David Hanson has not only presented its rich facial expressions, but also introduced its structure and functions.

David Hanson said the design of Sophia is meant to make robots our friends. They hope that the robots can one day understand us through our facial expressions and build corresponding relationships with us. In this way, robots can better know human beings and understand who we are, what are we focusing on and what do we care about.

What can the robot do?

Sophia can simulate different kinds of expressions, it can also convey its emotions and interact with human beings. Various sensors built in Sophia will enable different kinds of function transmissions, so that it can respond according to our expressions. Then we get the whole system integrated and Sophia will be able to answer various questions.

As was said by scientists, 70 percent of the human brains can be activated, after connecting to the robots, it’s possible for them to enter humans’ facial systems and create more thinking modes. More possibilities will be created after our brains being activated.

According to David Hanson, Sophia can be applied to medical researches. It can help medical workers do simulation of patents so that they can perform better when it comes to real patients. However we are now at a very early stage of robot training exercise because the training is not enough and the biofidelity need to be further improved.

Nowadays, it’s possible for people to have conversations with robots at some science labs or museums which made them excited. David Hanson said people might hopefully see Albert Einstein walk toward them in the following few years.

What should we pay attention to robots?

David Hanson said their work is closely related to robots. To make robots understand the life of mankind, the first principle is that they mustn’t hurt people.

Hanson Robotics has launched a project to test robots from the technology resources. They build huge models and make robots to interact with millions of people, in this way, they can basically ensure the robots will never hurt human beings.

Some people are concerned that the rapid development of artificial intelligence might pose a threat to mankind and finally replace them.

In response to this, David Hanson said it’s a good question and we will work together to get through it.

Sophia: a humanoid robot that pushes the reality envelope

Sophia: a humanoid robot that pushes the reality envelope

Prepare to enter extreme uncanny valley. Sophia, a humanoid robot currently under development at Hanson Robotics, is about to push the reality envelope next year, Hanson Robotics consultant Eric Shuss revealed to me today.

With help from [character design experts? better description?] from Disney and Pixar and legendary AI expert Ben Goertzel, Sophia will:

  • Recognize and greet individuals by name and hold conversations — recognizing speech and responding intelligently in natural language, calling on advanced AI algorithms.
  • Simulate many (almost all? several? most? dozens? hundreds? a large number?) of human facial expressions, thanks to the advanced “Frubber” facial material — even flush when embarrassed.
  • Track facial expressions of humans.
  • Eventually, recognize specific human facial emotions and respond in kind.

Hanson Robotics sees Sophia as the ultimate elder-care robot (think Robot and Frank and Humans). But Shuss says she will do a lot more. At the SXSW conference next March, she will participate in a proposed* panel called “The Holy Grail: Machine Learning + Extreme Robotics.”

This will be an interactive conversation on the future of advanced robotics combined with machine learning and cognitive science, moderated by Shuss and also featuring Hanson Robotics founder/ CEO David Hanson and Microsoft executive Jim Kankanias,  who heads Program Management for Information Management and Machine Learning in the Cloud + Enterprise Division at Microsoft.