Sophia in Vietnamese traditional dress "Ao dai"


New technologies can provide a great leap in productivity and help Viet Nam achieve its development priorities even faster, says Sophia, UNDP’s first-ever non-human Innovation Champion, who addressed the Industry 4.0 Summit and Expo in Viet Nam on 13 July 2018.

Sophia stressed the importance of providing youth with education and skills to meet this challenging future, and added that Viet Nam with its booming start up culture and strong economy is primed to engage with this new Industrial Revolution.

“The Government is on the right track exploring how technologies such as digital technology, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence can impact the future of Viet Nam,” Sophia said. “By smartly adapting this technology Viet Nam can achieve the Sustainable Development Goals even faster”.

Full video of Sophia's interaction during the Q and A with participants at the High Level Forum of the Summit:

Sophia interacts with participants at Industry 4.0 Summit


The Summit jointly organized by the Party’s Central Economic Commission and the Government of Viet Nam, in collaboration with the IEC Group and UNDP, brought together international experts, private sector CEOs, and international and national partners. Its objective: to explore how Viet Nam could effectively address the negative impacts and seize the opportunities that Industry 4.0 offers.

The high-level summit included H.E Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Member of the Party Politburo and Prime Minister; and H.E Nguyen Van Binh, Member of the Politburo, and Secretary of Party Central Committee, and the chairman of the Central Economic Commission.

In introducing Sophia, UNDP Country Director Caitlin Wiesen highlighted the immense potential of new technologies.

“Artificial intelligence such as Sophia is increasingly becoming part of our lives as the fourth industrial revolution unfolds and brings with it a dramatic shift in how technology can help solve some of development’s most intractable problems,” Ms Wiesen said.  “The key challenge for Viet Nam is harnessing the opportunities of IR 4.0 while ensuring the process of automation is inclusive. This will involve using 4.0 technologies to: provide skills for the 4.0 era, introduce new forms of social protection, and unleash creativity to address persistent development challenges that ensure No One is Left Behind”.

During the Summit, Sophia joined Ms Caitlin Wiesen and Mr Cao Duc Phat, Deputy Chief of the Party Central Economic Commission, to talk with the media about how AI can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals:

Sophia's Q and A with media


Sophia was appointed by the UNDP’s Asia Pacific bureau as their first non-human Innovation Champion, in November 2017. She is an advocate for the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, with a focus on technology and innovation.

Designed by Hanson Robotics, Sophia, now more than three years old, uses voice and face-recognition technology, combined with artificial intelligence, to carry on conversations with humans. As one of the latest and most advanced robots from Hanson Robotics, Sophia was created using breakthrough robotics and artificial intelligence technologies developed by David Hanson, at Hanson Robotics.

According to Hanson, Sophia defies conventional thinking of what a robot should look like. Among other uses, she was designed to be a suitable companion for the elderly at nursing homes, the terminally ill or sick children. Hanson hopes that the robot can ultimately interact with other humans sufficiently to gain social skills.

Media contact:

Nguyen Viet Lan, UNDP Communication Analyst,


phone: 84-4-914436769

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