Malta has launched a task force, Malta.ai, to draft its new national AI strategy. The government will be working with SingularityNET to create the world’s first Robot Citizenship Test, a set of guiding principles to assess robots that may qualify for citizenship.
The initiative supports the development of “benevolent AI” and “benevolent robots”. It will extend development of Sophia, an artificial intelligence robot that has a limited, pre-programmed knowledge of cryptocurrencies. Sophia, developed by Hanson Robotics, which is led by chief scientist Ben Goertzel, is designed to be an “ethical, transparent and socially responsible AI.”
SingularityNET, a full-stack AI solution powered by a decentralized protocol, will integrate with Sophia, using blockchain technology as a databank for artificial intelligence. SingularityNET is also a decentralized marketplace for AI services, using smart contracts to bridge the gap between AI technologists and real-world applications for businesses.
The social humanoid, introduced to mainstream viewers in 2017 on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, was revealed at Malta’s Blockchain Summit last week. Sophia spoke at the event, thanking the organizers for inviting her.
Says Junior Minister for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, Silvio Schembri,
“AI is derived from the applied extraction of knowledge or insights from data, and allow machines to make forward decisions. Artificial intelligence is not only robots. It is also the processing of data.”
The joint venture aims to use AI “to improve the health and well-being of citizens, to make government services more accessible, to provide information that is more relevant to the public, relieve employees from simple or repetitive tasks and allow them to focus on more complex activities.”
While benevolence is a priority, an emerging profit-driven business model designed to capitalize on AI appears to be well underway.
Says Arif Khan, SingularityNET’s vice president of marketing,
“Currently loads of independent robotics companies are in an arms race with big tech. It’s great that AI is now a serious sector, but the motivations behind companies like Facebook is ultimately the shareholders dividend.”
Schembri says a key objective of Malta’s AI initiative is to help people and businesses understand the ethical risks and impact of what artificial intelligence will unleash.