A transparent skull allows people to literally peer into the head of Sophia, one of the most sophisticated humanoid robots yet built. Hong Kong firm Hanson Robotics created Sophia with an advanced neural network and delicate motor controls that allow the machine to emulate human social interactions.

Meet Sophia, a social robot created by former Disney Imagineer David Hanson. Modeled in part after Audrey Hepburn and Hanson’s wife, the robot was built to mimic social behaviors and inspire feelings of love and compassion in humans.

Ever since her unveiling in 2016, Sophia has rocketed to stardom. The robot has sat for TV interviews, appeared on the cover of ELLE magazine, been parodied on HBO, and was appointed the UN’s first non-human “innovation champion.” In a ceremony promoting a tech conference, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia even conferred citizenship on Sophia—an ironic move, given the limited rights afforded to Saudi women and migrant workers.

But for photographer Giulio Di Sturco, seeing Sophia at press events as her creators promoted their AI business SingularityNET wasn’t enough. As he searched for a visual metaphor for the future, he wanted to see the robot’s place of creation, too.

Engineers work in the Hanson Robotics lab in Hong Kong, which is often referred to as the “house of Sophia.” Sophia, seen here being tinkered with in the lab, was designed in part to resemble actress Audrey Hepburn. Read more from nationalgeographic.com…

thumbnail courtesy of nationalgeographic.com