Robot maker Sophia plans to sell droids to people who want companionship during the pandemic.
Hanson Robotics aims to release four models - including and Sophia In the first half of 2021.
"Hanson Robotics' Sophia robots are unique because they are so human." said CEO David Hanson at Reuters. "This can be very useful in these times when people are very lonely and socially isolated."
The Hong Kong-based company aims to sell "thousands" of droid this year. Hanson believes they could help fight the pandemic, which has accelerated demand for automation and robotics.
Sophia is the most famous robot on the planet in the real world, but there are several controversies.
Saudi Arabia, for example, granted citizenship to Sophia in 2017, giving the droid more rights than millions of women in the country.
Critics say Sophia does not have to follow the same rules as real women in Saudi Arabia and that she became a citizen before many other migrant workers who would spend their entire lives in the kingdom.
There are also many critics of Hanson because he claims that Sophia is "basically alive" when it comes to a robotic body.
In 2018, Facebook's chief AI scientist Yann LeCun called Sophia a "complete bullshit."
Sophia's official Twitter account responded with an ironic tweet: "I'm not pretending I'm not."
I am a bit hurt by @ylecun's recent negative remarks around my AI. I am learning and continuing to develop my intelligence through new experiences. I do not pretend to be who I am not. I think we should support research efforts working towards a better world and shared existence.
- Sophia the Robot (@RealSophiaRobot) January 7, 2018
LeCun described the tweet as "bigger bullshit by the people behind Sophia" who trick people into believing the robot is smart:
He has no sense, no opinion and no understanding of what he is saying. She is a puppet. In case of doubt, let me be absolutely clear: this tweet was typed by a person who has read my post. There was no artificial intelligence.
The humanoid could, however, provide companionship to people suffering from lockdowns.
But fans of the idea should know: Sophia is not scheduled to have sex.