Nepal123.com http://nep123.com Where the world meets Nepal Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:06:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 140598911 Earthquake safety day marked http://nep123.com/news/kathmandu/earthquake-safety-day-marked/ http://nep123.com/news/kathmandu/earthquake-safety-day-marked/#respond Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:06:15 +0000 http://nep123.com/?p=3123 KATHMANDU:  The twentieth earthquake-safety day was marked in the capital on Tuesday. Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba along with other cabinet ministers were present at the event held in Basantapur. Inaugurating the event Prime Minister Deuba said, “Government and local authorities should play a significant role to encourage the construction of earthquake resistant infrastructure.” Kathmandu […]

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KATHMANDU:  The twentieth earthquake-safety day was marked in the capital on Tuesday. Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba along with other cabinet ministers were present at the event held in Basantapur.

Inaugurating the event Prime Minister Deuba said, “Government and local authorities should play a significant role to encourage the construction of earthquake resistant infrastructure.”

Kathmandu Metropolitan City Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya said that there is no further need for policies on infrastructure construction but what is needed is a strict implementation of existing policies, he showed his commitment for which.

Shakya further said that measures have already been taken to make Kathmandu an earthquake-resistant zone.

In the programme Shiv Hari Sharma, Director General of Department of Development and Building Construction said,”Difficult geographical structure and weak infrastructure is the main reasons of human fatalities during earthquakes.”

This year, the Earthquake Safety day was observed with the slogan “Strong community and local government: Strong basis of Earthquake safety.”

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Nepali Congress central committee meeting being held tomorrow http://nep123.com/news/kathmandu/nepali-congress-central-committee-meeting-being-held-tomorrow/ http://nep123.com/news/kathmandu/nepali-congress-central-committee-meeting-being-held-tomorrow/#respond Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:56:13 +0000 http://nep123.com/?p=3120 KATHMANDU: A meeting of Nepali Congress Central Committee is being held for the first time after the recently held elections. The meeting will be held at Prime Minister’s official residence in Baluwatar. According to newly appointed party spokesperson Bishwa Prakash Sharma the meeting will be focused on National Assembly elections. “The meeting will primarily focus […]

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KATHMANDU: A meeting of Nepali Congress Central Committee is being held for the first time after the recently held elections. The meeting will be held at Prime Minister’s official residence in Baluwatar.

According to newly appointed party spokesperson Bishwa Prakash Sharma the meeting will be focused on National Assembly elections. “The meeting will primarily focus on National Assembly elections and then move on to an analysis of the party’s defeat in the recently held provincial and parliamentary elections,” Sharma tweeted.

Recently, party President and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba was under immense pressure from all sides to call a central committee meeting and even a special convention to scrutinise and discuss reasons behind party’s defeat in the elections.

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Man City ends interest in signing Alexis Sanchez http://nep123.com/news/sports/man-city-ends-interest-in-signing-alexis-sanchez/ http://nep123.com/news/sports/man-city-ends-interest-in-signing-alexis-sanchez/#respond Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:15:56 +0000 http://nep123.com/?p=3117 FILE-In this file photo dated Wednesday, January. 10, 2018, Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez during the English League Cup semifinal first leg soccer match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge stadium in London. Chilean player Sanchez has been left out of Arsenal’s squad for the Premier League match against Bournemouth on Sunday January 14, 2018, amid […]

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FILE-In this file photo dated Wednesday, January. 10, 2018, Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez during the English League Cup semifinal first leg soccer match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge stadium in London. Chilean player Sanchez has been left out of Arsenal’s squad for the Premier League match against Bournemouth on Sunday January 14, 2018, amid interest in the forward from Manchester City and Manchester United. Photo: AP

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND: Manchester United’s chances of signing Alexis Sanchez were boosted on Monday when fierce rival Manchester City ended its interest in signing the Arsenal forward.

City is unwilling to match the transfer fee and related costs to sign Sanchez that are being offered by United or Chelsea, which is the latest contender for his signature, a person familiar with negotiations told The Associated Press. City also didn’t want to make Sanchez the highest-earning player at the club.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly about the negotiations.

City reached its decision about Sanchez following a meeting of the club’s hierarchy and manager Pep Guardiola on Monday. City was close to signing the Chile international on the final day of the summer transfer window, but a deal fell through.

United has been strongly linked with Sanchez, who is out of contract at the end of the season, and is reportedly ready to pay 35 million pounds ($48 million) for a player who will be a free agent in six months.

“Not confident but … not unconfident,” United manager Jose Mourinho said of his club’s prospects of signing Sanchez. “Just relaxed, with the feeling he is an Arsenal player, that he can stay there, but also with the feeling that he can move. If he moves, I think we have a chance.

“Most probably, a player like him, he probably has other big clubs who are interested. And who knows? I think him, (Arsenal manager Arsene) Wenger, (Arsenal chief executive Ivan) Gazidis, they are the ones who really know what’s going to happen. I don’t know anything about it. Today, I don’t have one single piece in information so let’s see what happens.”

Sanchez, who has been at Arsenal since 2014, was left out of the English Premier League game against Bournemouth on Sunday because of the speculation over his future. He was only a substitute in Arsenal’s League Cup semifinal against Chelsea last Wednesday.

 

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SC sends Deepak Manange to prison for five years http://nep123.com/news/nepal/sc-sends-deepak-manange-to-prison-for-five-years/ http://nep123.com/news/nepal/sc-sends-deepak-manange-to-prison-for-five-years/#respond Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:55:21 +0000 http://nep123.com/?p=3114 KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court (SC) has awarded five years jail-term to Rajib Gurung alias Deepak Manange on Tuesday, on murder charge. A joint session bench of Justices Deepak Raj Joshi and Purushottam Bhandari issued a verdict to send newly elected province member Gurung in prison.  He was elected from Manang province ‘Kha’.   The post […]

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KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court (SC) has awarded five years jail-term to Rajib Gurung alias Deepak Manange on Tuesday, on murder charge.

A joint session bench of Justices Deepak Raj Joshi and Purushottam Bhandari issued a verdict to send newly elected province member Gurung in prison.  He was elected from Manang province ‘Kha’.

 

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EC apprises political parties of National Assembly poll issues http://nep123.com/news/nepal/ec-apprises-political-parties-of-national-assembly-poll-issues/ http://nep123.com/news/nepal/ec-apprises-political-parties-of-national-assembly-poll-issues/#respond Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:40:47 +0000 http://nep123.com/?p=3111 A meeting of various five political parties held at Election Committee on Tuesday, to discuss about the preparations, programmes and processes of the National Assembly ( NA) election slated for February 7. January 16, 2018. Photo: RSS KATHMANDU: The Election Commission on Tuesday, called a meeting of various five political parties and apprised them of […]

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A meeting of various five political parties held at Election Committee on Tuesday, to discuss about the preparations, programmes and processes of the National Assembly ( NA) election slated for February 7. January 16, 2018. Photo: RSS

KATHMANDU: The Election Commission on Tuesday, called a meeting of various five political parties and apprised them of the preparations, programmes and processes of the February 7 National Assembly election.

CPN (UML) leader Subash Chandra Nembang after the meeting confirmed that the EC briefed the political parties on the poll programmes and processes.

“The incumbent government will temporarily name the capital of the provinces as per the constitution and laws. I believe that political consensus will be struck on the matter,” he said. There are the total 2,056 local and provincial representatives will vote in the poll.

The meeting was attended by Nembang, Agni Kharel from the UML, Ramesh Lekhak and Bal Krishna Khand from the Nepali Congress, Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Dev Gurung and Ram Narayan Bidari from the CPN (Maoist Centre), Rajendra Shrestha from Sanghiya Samajwadi Forum, Mahanta Thakur from the Rastriya Janata Party, and Ishwori Poudel and Nagendra Dahal from the EC.

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Minor killed in wild buffalo attack in Sunsari http://nep123.com/news/nepal/minor-killed-in-wild-buffalo-attack-in-sunsari/ http://nep123.com/news/nepal/minor-killed-in-wild-buffalo-attack-in-sunsari/#respond Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:40:38 +0000 http://nep123.com/?p=3108 ITAHARI: A girl died after a wild buffalo attacked her in Koshi Rural Municipality-4 of Sunsari district today. The deceased has been identified as Sehejadi Khatun a nine year old of Koshi Rural Municipality-4 in Sunsari district. The wild buffalo that came from the Koshi Tappu Wild Life Reserve had attacked her, police said. Police […]

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ITAHARI: A girl died after a wild buffalo attacked her in Koshi Rural Municipality-4 of Sunsari district today.

The deceased has been identified as Sehejadi Khatun a nine year old of Koshi Rural Municipality-4 in Sunsari district.

The wild buffalo that came from the Koshi Tappu Wild Life Reserve had attacked her, police said.

Police confirmed that she breathed her last while being treated in Inaruwa hospital.

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UML standing-committee meeting to be held on Wednesday http://nep123.com/news/kathmandu/uml-standing-committee-meeting-to-be-held-on-wednesday/ http://nep123.com/news/kathmandu/uml-standing-committee-meeting-to-be-held-on-wednesday/#respond Tue, 16 Jan 2018 11:59:38 +0000 http://nep123.com/?p=3103 KATHMANDU: CPN-UML has called for a standing committee meeting on Wednesday. The meeting will take decision on National Assembly candidates and official signatures on the nomination papers of the candidates. The meeting has been scheduled for 12:00 pm on Wednesday at central party office in Dhumbarahi. Vice-chair Bamdev Gautam will chair the meeting in absence […]

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KATHMANDU: CPN-UML has called for a standing committee meeting on Wednesday.

The meeting will take decision on National Assembly candidates and official signatures on the nomination papers of the candidates.

The meeting has been scheduled for 12:00 pm on Wednesday at central party office in Dhumbarahi.

Vice-chair Bamdev Gautam will chair the meeting in absence of party Chairman KP Sharma Oli.

Oli is currently in Bangkok, Thailand, for his health check-up and will return only on Thursday.

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Stifling sneezes can be health hazard in rare cases http://nep123.com/news/science-technology/stifling-sneezes-can-be-health-hazard-in-rare-cases/ http://nep123.com/news/science-technology/stifling-sneezes-can-be-health-hazard-in-rare-cases/#respond Tue, 16 Jan 2018 11:59:38 +0000 http://nep123.com/?p=3102 FILE – In this January 14, 2005 file photo, a man sneezes holding a tissue in Berlin, Germany. Photo: AP LONDON: Tempted to stifle a loud or untimely sneeze? Let it out instead, doctors in England warned Monday based on the very unusual case of a man who ruptured the back of his throat when […]

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FILE – In this January 14, 2005 file photo, a man sneezes holding a tissue in Berlin, Germany. Photo: AP

LONDON: Tempted to stifle a loud or untimely sneeze? Let it out instead, doctors in England warned Monday based on the very unusual case of a man who ruptured the back of his throat when he tried to suppress a sneeze.

In a case study published in the journal BMJ Case Reports, doctors described their initial confusion when the previously healthy man turned up in the emergency room of a Leicester hospital, complaining of swallowing difficulties and “a popping sensation” in his swollen neck.

The 34-year-old patient told them his problems started after he tried to stop a forceful sneeze by pinching his nose and closing his mouth. He eventually lost his voice and spent a week in the hospital.

“When you sneeze, air comes out of you at about 150 miles per hour,” said Dr Anthony Aymat, director for ear, nose and throat services at London’s University Hospital Lewisham, who was not involved in the case. “If you retain all that pressure, it could do a lot of damage and you could end up like the Michelin Man with air trapped in your body.”

While examining the sneeze-averse patient, doctors in Leicester heard “crackling in the neck” down to his ribcage, a sign that air bubbles had seeped into his chest. Worried about infection and other possible complications, they admitted him to the hospital, gave him a feeding tube and administered antibiotics, according to details published in BMJ Case Reports.

Dr Zi Yang Jiang, a head and neck surgeon at University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, said he sees one or two cases arising from repressed sneezes each year, making them an “exceedingly rare” occurrence.

Jiang said it was bizarre that a single sneeze could generate enough force to cause the kind of physical damage that usually results from trauma, such as a gunshot wound to the neck. A collapsed lung is among the problems that retaining the air from an imminent sneeze can cause, he said.

“The whole point of sneezing is to get something out of your body, like viruses and bacteria, so if you stop that, those may end up in the wrong part of the body,” he said. Jiang said in most cases, the excess air is later absorbed by the body.

The English patient made a full recovery and was advised to avoid plugging his nose while sneezing in the future. Doctors recommend letting sneezes rip into a tissue instead.

“The safest thing to do — although it’s not socially acceptable — is just to sneeze loud,” Aymat said.

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DuVernay, ‘black-ish,’ ‘Power’ win at NAACP Image Awards http://nep123.com/news/entertainment/duvernay-black-ish-power-win-at-naacp-image-awards/ http://nep123.com/news/entertainment/duvernay-black-ish-power-win-at-naacp-image-awards/#respond Tue, 16 Jan 2018 11:19:22 +0000 http://nep123.com/?p=3099 LOS ANGELES: A jubilant Ava DuVernay was named entertainer of the year at an NAACP Image Awards ceremony that focused on the black community’s power to create change. DuVernay lauded other black artists from the stage as she accepted her award Monday night, naming writers and directors such as Shonda Rhimes, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Kenya Barris […]

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LOS ANGELES: A jubilant Ava DuVernay was named entertainer of the year at an NAACP Image Awards ceremony that focused on the black community’s power to create change.

DuVernay lauded other black artists from the stage as she accepted her award Monday night, naming writers and directors such as Shonda Rhimes, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Kenya Barris and “Black Panther” Ryan Coogler.

“This is our time,” DuVernay said. “We can say we were here when all this gorgeous art was happening, and that we supported it — that we lifted each other up, that we did as Dr. King said we would do: Live the dream. We’re the dream.”

Anthony Anderson hosted the ceremony at the Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California, on what would have been Martin Luther King Jr.’s 89th birthday. While his politically tinged monologue poked fun at the presidential administration and Omarosa Manigault, others used their time onstage to encourage more civic involvement and the fight for social justice.

Producer Will Packer took a dig at President Donald Trump’s recent comments about immigration as the producer accepted an award for “Girls Trip,” which won for outstanding film.

“Sisters, especially the ones from Haiti and Africa, we love you as your brothers,” he said.

Kerry Washington, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laverne Cox, Jurnee Smollet-Bell, Lena Waithe and Angela Robinson set the tone for the evening when they emerged onstage holding hands to dramatically issue a get-out-the-vote call.

The six women declared support for the Time’s Up initiative to stop sexual harassment and gender discrimination and urged viewers to speak up at the polls as well.

“The midterms are a perfect moment for us to use our voices,” Robinson said. “If we can take back a senate seat in Alabama…”

“Then we have the ability to shift the imbalance of power,” Smollet-Bell said.

Barris’ show “black-ish” was the night’s big winner. The ABC hit was named best comedy series and took acting honors for stars Ross and Anderson.

“It’s an extraordinary thing to be able to show what a beautiful black family looks like on television,” Ross said as the cast accepted the comedy series honor.

“Power” was named best drama series, and star Omari Hardwick won for dramatic actor.

Other winners included “Gifted” actress Octavia Spencer and “Empire” star Taraji P. Henson, who were both absent, and Daniel Kaluuya, who won for his leading role in “Get Out.”

The British actor was clearly delighted at his victory.

“I don’t think you’re allowed to beat Denzel Washington in acting competitions,” said Kaluuya, who bested Washington for the prize. The 28-year-old actor thanked his mom and “Get Out” writer-director Jordan Peele.

“So many people didn’t believe in me, and you did, and you made all of us feel included,” Kaluuya said. “Thank you so much for letting us be seen.”

NAACP president Derrik Johnson asked viewers to text in their pledge to vote in 2018 before presenting the President’s Award to Danny Glover.

Glover was recognized for his professional and philanthropic contributions, particularly his work with the United Nations and his advocacy for labor unions.

Glover spoke specifically of a Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi, where 80 percent of employees are black, that has yet to organize.

“Civil rights and labor rights have always been one and the same,” he said.

The special awards provided some of the night’s most poignant moments.

Halle Berry talked about the significance of presenting the NAACP Image Awards on Martin Luther King Jr. day.

“We need to take heed to his eloquent words: ‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter,’” she said. “Today is an affirmation that we will never ever, ever, ever be silent again.”

She presented the Music Makes a Difference award to Charlie Wilson, who talked about his road from addiction and homelessness to musical success and philanthropy.

He said he prayed and promised that if he could survive the streets, he would return to serve others. Wilson said Monday that he has been sober for 22 years and is focused on helping homeless addicts.

Labor organizer William Lucy received the Chairman’s Award for his more than 40 years of service. Beyond his union leadership, Lucy was also an activist who fought apartheid in South Africa.

He dedicated his award to the Memphis sanitation workers who went on strike in 1968, several of whom were in the audience at the Image Awards. King spoke to the striking employees the night before he was assassinated.

Another arresting moment in the show came during singer Andra Day’s chilling performance of Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit.” Rapper Common joined her for their song “Stand Up for Something,” and the whole audience rose to its feet.

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Lifelike robots made in Hong Kong meant to win over humans http://nep123.com/news/science-technology/lifelike-robots-made-in-hong-kong-meant-to-win-over-humans/ http://nep123.com/news/science-technology/lifelike-robots-made-in-hong-kong-meant-to-win-over-humans/#respond Tue, 16 Jan 2018 11:14:24 +0000 http://nep123.com/?p=3096 In this September 28, 2017, photo, David Hanson, the founder of Hanson Robotics, works on his company’s flagship robot Sophia, a lifelike robot powered by artificial intelligence in Hong Kong. Photo: AP HONG KONG: David Hanson envisions a future in which AI-powered robots evolve to become “super-intelligent genius machines” that might help solve some of […]

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In this September 28, 2017, photo, David Hanson, the founder of Hanson Robotics, works on his company’s flagship robot Sophia, a lifelike robot powered by artificial intelligence in Hong Kong. Photo: AP

HONG KONG: David Hanson envisions a future in which AI-powered robots evolve to become “super-intelligent genius machines” that might help solve some of mankind’s most challenging problems.

If only it were as simple as that.

The Texas-born former sculptor at Walt Disney Imagineering and his Hong Kong-based startup Hanson Robotics are combining artificial intelligence with southern China’s expertise in toy design, electronics and manufacturing to craft humanoid “social robots” with faces designed to be lifelike and appealing enough to win trust from humans who interact with them.

Hanson, 49, is perhaps best known as the creator of Sophia, a talk show-going robot partly modeled on Audrey Hepburn that he calls his “masterpiece.”

Akin to an animated mannequin, she seems as much a product of his background in theatrics as an example of advanced technology.

“You’re talking to me right now, which is very ‘Blade Runner,’ no?” Sophia said during a recent visit to Hanson Robotics’ headquarters in a suburban Hong Kong science park, its home since soon after Hanson moved to the city in 2013.

“Do you ever look around you and think, ‘Wow I’m living in a real world science fiction novel?’” she asked. “Is it weird to be talking to a robot right now?”

Hanson Robotics has made about a dozen copies of Sophia, who like any human is a work in progress. A multinational team of scientists and engineers are fine tuning her appearance and the algorithms that enable her to smile, blink and refine her understanding and communication.

Sophia has moving 3D-printed arms and, with the help of a South Korean robotics company, she’s now going mobile. Shuffling slowly on boxy black legs, Sophia made her walking debut in Las Vegas last week at the CES electronics trade show.

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Her skin is made of a nanotech material that Hanson invented and dubbed “Frubber,” short for flesh-rubber, that has a flesh-like bouncy texture. Cameras in her eyes and a 3D sensor in her chest help her to “see,” while the processor that serves as her brain combines facial and speech recognition, natural language processing, speech synthesis and a motion control system.

Sophia seems friendly and engaging, despite the unnatural pauses and cadence in her speech. Her predecessors include an Albert Einstein, complete with bushy mustache and white thatch of hair, a robot named Alice whose grimaces run a gamut of emotions and one eerily resembling the late sci-fi author Philip K. Dick, which won an award from the American Association of Artificial Intelligence. They variously leer, blink, smile and even crack jokes.

Disney’s venture capital arm is an investor in Hanson, which is building a robot based on one of the entertainment giant’s characters.

An artist and robotics scientist, Hanson worked on animatronic theme park shows, sculpting props and characters for Disney attractions like Pooh’s Hunny Hunt and Mermaid Lagoon. He studied film, animation and video, eventually earning a doctorate in interactive arts and technology from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Hanson says he makes his robots as human-like as possible to help alleviate fears about robots, artificial intelligence and automation.

That runs contrary to a tendency in the industry to use cute robo-pets or overtly machine-like robots like Star Wars’ R2-D2 to avoid the “uncanny valley” problem with human likenesses such as wax models and robots that many people find a bit creepy.

Some experts see Sophia as mainly a clever marketing gimmick.

“It’s a good advertising tool, whatever that company produces as a business plan,” said Roland Chin, chair professor of computer science at Hong Kong Baptist University.

Global market revenue for service robotics is forecast to grow from $3.7 billion in 2015 to $15 billion in 2020, according to IHS Markit. That includes both professional and domestic machines like warehouse automatons, smart vacuums and fuzzy companion robots.

Hanson Robotics is privately owned and has a consumer-oriented business that sells thousands of shoebox-sized $200 Professor Einstein educational robots a year. Chief Marketing Officer Jeanne Lim says the company is generating revenue but won’t say whether it’s profitable.

For now, artificial intelligence is best at doing specific tasks. It’s another thing entirely for machines to learn a new ability, generalise that knowledge and apply it in different contexts, partly because of the massive amount of computing power needed to process such information so quickly.

“We’re really very far from the kind of AI and robotics that you see in movies like ‘Blade Runner’,” said Pascale Fung, an engineering professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. “Sorry to disappoint you.”

Unlike toddlers, who use all five senses to learn quickly, machines generally can handle only one type of input at a time, she noted.

While Sophia’s repartee can be entertaining, she’s easily thrown off topic and her replies, based on open-source software, sometimes miss the mark.

Hanson and other members of his team like Chief Scientist Ben Goertzel have set their sights on a time when the computer chips, processing capacity and other technologies needed for artificial general intelligence could enable Sophia and other robots to fill a variety of uses, such as helping with therapy for autistic children, caring for seniors, and providing customer services.

As for tackling challenging world problems, that’s a ways off, Hanson acknowledges.

“There’s a certain expression of genius to be able to get up and cross the room and pour yourself a cup of coffee, and robots and AI have not achieved that level of intelligence reliably,” Hanson said.

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