The program



David Hanson



David Hanson has built a worldwide reputation for inventing the world’s most human-like, empathetic, intelligent character robots, inspiring massive media coverage and public acclaim. To accomplish this, Hanson integrated figurative arts with science and engineering, and invented novel skin materials, facial expression mechanisms, and intelligent software to animate the robots in face to face interactions with people. Sophia personifies David Hanson Robotics’ greater mission of developing intelligent, empathetic robots that make a positive impact on humanity and co-create a better future for all. Sophia is Hanson Robotics’ most advanced human-like robot, created by combining breakthrough innovations in robotics, AI and artistry. She is endowed with remarkable expressiveness, aesthetics and interactivity, and can simulate a full range of facial expressions, track and recognise faces, and hold natural conversations with people. David Hanson started as a Walt Disney Imagineer, working as both a sculptor and a technical consultant in robotics. As a researcher, he published dozens of papers on materials science, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and robotics journals — including SPIE, IEEE, the International Journal of Cognitive Science, IROS, AAAI, AI magazine and more. He wrote two books including “Humanising Robots” and received several patents. Hanson was featured in the New York Times, Popular Science, Scientific American, WIRED, BBC and CNN. He also received awards from NASA, NSF, Tech Titans’ Innovator of the Year, RISD, Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, and the 2005 AAAI first place prize for open interaction of an AI system.