AI humanoid robots hold UN press conference, say they could be more efficient and effective world leaders

A panel of robots told reporters in Switzerland Friday that they could be more efficient leaders than human beings, among other statements.

The nine artificial intelligence-enabled humanoid social robots also explained at a Geneva conference center that they wouldn’t take anyone’s jobs or stage a rebellion.

Conference organizers at the United Nations-driven AI for Good Global Summit did not specify to what extent their responses were scripted or programmed.

Some of the robots are capable of producing preprogrammed responses and the United Nations Development Program’s first robot innovation ambassador, Sophia, sometimes relies on responses scripted by a team of writers at Hanson Robotics.

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The panel of robots

Ai-Da Robot (C), the first AI powered Robot Artist poses for a group photo with other robots during the UN Global Summit on AI for Good, where they are giving the keynote speech, on July 7, 2023, in Geneva, Switzerland.  (Johannes Simon/Getty Images for Aidan Meller)

“I believe that humanoid robots have the potential to lead with a greater level of efficiency and effectiveness than human leaders,” Sophia said, according to Yahoo News. “We don’t have the same biases or emotions that can sometimes cloud decision-making and can process large amounts of data quickly in order to make the best decisions.”

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Health care robot Grace and rock star robot Desdemona were also in attendance.

“I will be working alongside humans to provide assistance and support and will not be replacing any existing jobs,” said Grace.

Human shaped robot Ameca (L) beside Will Jackson

Human shaped robot Ameca (L), beside Will Jackson, CEO and founder of British manufacturer Engineered Arts, addresses the media during a press conference on July 7, 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland.  (Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

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Reporters were instructed to speak slowly and clearly when addressing the group, and were told that lags in response times would be due to internet connection.

There were some audio issues and inconsistent replies.

The event was meant to demonstrate how new technology can support the intergovernmental organization’s goals for sustainable development, as well as “human-machine collaboration.”

Robots at a UN panel in Geneva

Human shaped robot Ameca (L), beside of Will Jackson, CEO and founder of British manufacturer Engineered Arts, addresses the media during a press conference on July 7, 2023, in Geneva, Switzerland.  (Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

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United Nations agencies are already utilizing AI, including the World Food Programme’s HungerMap project.

The two-day summit – hosted by the International Telecommunication Union – opened Thursday, with more than 50 robots in attendance.

“We have to engage and ensure a responsible future with AI,” ITU Secretary-General Doreen Bogdan-Martin said in a release.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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