Robot encounter at Schiffbau Zürich

Last Thursday, Volvo Art Session 2018 lived up to its name with this year’s motto “Human meets Technology”. Besides all the impressive interactive art exhibitions, they attracted a lot of attention, because of one person among la Creme de la creme of Zürich influential guests. Did I say, person?

I mean robot. Of course, I’m talking about Sophia, the most humanoid robot in the world.

Artificial Intelligence, Friend or Foe?

On the stage, Sophia conducted an interview and spoke about what is artificial intelligence capable of today.
To be honest, it was impressive and a little freaky but guys we are far from the apocalyptic human killer robots that we see in movies these days.

Through an inspiring discussion with Stephan Sigrist (Founder of the swiss Think Tanks W.I.R.E) and Eric Krapf (CEO of Atos Switzerland) we understood that Artificial intelligence doesn’t represent a danger as long as human don’t start delegating decision making.
However AI and machines, in general, represent an amazing opportunity for us to delegate simple time-consuming tasks.

Apart from her almost frightening human-like appearance, her behavior was convincing but she sometimes failed to answer questions as they were asked and answered them when another question was asked.

While some will say that Hanson Robotics is master at putting on a show with Sophia and that everything is scripted, we prefer to believe that Sophia is an MVP that of course needs polishing.

She imitates gestures and facial expressions and conducts conversations almost like a real person, which is already astounding. For example, we will never forget the face she does when we asked her how do you look like while buying a Volvo?

Art meets Tech

The combination of having a human-like robot in the scene and all the avant-gardist art around was very inspiring provided many emotional moments!

While Andreas Wannerstedt first entertained everyone in the room with his real-world computer-animated sculptures “Odly Satisfying” and Kuflex enabled us to be part of some interactive art piece, Christopher Bauder and Robert Henke blew our minds during the concluding panel discussions with an audiovisual light installation in which kinetic light objects were fused with electronic music.

For one evening, Schiffbau one of the most historical building of the trending industrial district of Zurich totally transformed in a futuristic venue. Volvo transported us in the future with an impressive collection of art and an amazing light show that will stay in every guest memory!

A special thank you to Volvo and to the World Web Forum without whom we wouldn’t have had the chance to meet Sophia. Unfortunately, we cannot share emotions over the internet yet so check out for our photos below and see what you’ve missed!

Photo gallery