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Huge crowd at Digital Expo venue to see Sophia
Thousands of people flocked Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) here on Wednesday, just to have a glimpse of Sophia, the world’s first artificially intelligent citizen.
Organisers said they had to start the public session, ‘Techtalk with Sophia’, session half an hour behind the schedule due to the unmanageable crowd as they created huge noise at the venue.
Sophia finally interacted with visitors at the expo from 2:30pm to 4:30pm which enthralled the youngsters.
Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics Ltd created Sophia having the expressiveness, liveliness, and interactivity features in it.
The side glasses of an escalator got damaged under pressure of people, forcing the authorities to shut down all the escalators.
Arastoo Khan, Chairman of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited which sponsored Sophia’s visit to Bangladesh, was seen standing in front of the gate of Hall of Fame, the venue of Techtalk with Sophia, for 10-15 minutes as the gate was locked from inside to tackle the crowd.
The Islami Bank chairman was seen telling a security man at the gate that they were sponsoring the visit of lifelike robot, but he could not enter the venue. However, Arastoo Khan finally entered the venue and he was seen on the dais.
Mahboob, Saiful and Tamara like many other youths participated in the session and expressed their joy to have a chance to get glimpse of the humanoid robot.
“It was really an amazing experience to be able to talk to a robot that doesn’t only have a human-like body shape but also the facial expression and intelligence. She also answered to many questions about Bangladesh which surprised me much,” Shahnaj, a student of East West University, told UNB.
“I’ve lost those who came here with me as the crowd has gone into frenzy. My mobile network is not working due to the huge crowd and I cannot contact them either,” said Rajon who came from Mirpur.
Replying to a question from State Minister for ICT Junaid Ahmed Palak at the event Sophia said, “It’s possible to recreate a social robot in Bangladesh.”
The humanoid robot also talked about Jamdani sari, a Bangladesh pride, and described it as one of its finest fabrics.
Sophia, who arrived here on Monday night, made the remarks at the public session, arranged as part of the 4-day Digital World Exposition at the BICC.
Sophia was given Saudi citizenship earlier this year, making her the first robot ever to get such a status from a country.
The ICT Division in collaboration with Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) organised the exposition.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the event and exchanged greetings with Sophia.