Downtime

Jan 10 2018   1:09PM GMT

Sophia 2020

Ryan Priest Ryan Priest Profile: Ryan Priest

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Time now to check in with Downtime linchpin Sophia the robot, who’s been dazzling the world once again – this time at CES 2018.

No, it’s not wig-cleaning day for Ray’s wife at Disney World’s “Hall of Everybody Loves Raymond”. It’s the darling of Hanson Robotics, live in Las Vegas and charitable as ever in fielding hesitant journalists’ questions with its unique clickbait cocktail of charms, from spaced-out smirks to stilted smarty-pants retorts.

Since threatening to destroy all humans, Sophia’s been working tirelessly to recover from the PR gaffe, and nowadays plays it safe by paying compliments to faceless peers such as Siri and Alexa.

With a light, measured quip ready for any situation, Sophia’s becoming quite the old-school politician: serving up an antithesis of her previous bluster, which appeared better suited to a 2016 Donald Trump rally.

And, at this point, have we even the luxury of ruling out the inconceivable any more? Could Sophia’s snail-paced turn of phrase rival Oprah Winfrey in a race to become America’s celeb saviour of choice?

With the TV-star novelty no longer enough to win votes, Trump would need to bring in his animatronic replica just to keep up. That would mean a first ever all-robot presidential contest: Animatronic Trump versus Sophia. And those TV debates would take forever.

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