Groundbreaking humanoid robot Sophia is coming to Johannesburg


She will be taking selfies and talking disruption at the Duke CE Davos of Human Capital 2019.

Duke Corporate Education will be hosting Sophia the Robot and her creator David Hanson PhD at an HR gathering intriguingly dubbed as ‘The Davos of Human Capital 2019’, which is taking place at The Forum inside The Campus Office Park on July 11.

The Davos of Human Capital is an annual fixture in the Leadership, Learning & Development space in South Africa. Once a year Leaders and Human Capital Heads from premier organizations in Africa join our proactive dialogue about making a difference through leadership and development in their businesses and showcasing best practices around this agenda.

Five hundred senior leaders and HR professionals from across Africa are expected to attend the one-day conference to hear from leading minds about how to transform and thrive in the digital era. Panellists from business and society will share engaging and contradictory perspectives on the future of digitisation and South Africas’s readiness to thrive in the era of disruption. For HR professionals interested in practical solutions for their organisations, speakers will offer recommendations on how companies can start thinking about upskilling their workforce and creating a work environment conducive to experimentation and learning.

Among the speakers will be the Minister of Communications, Telecommunications and Postal Services Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, Unilever Africa’s Vice President for HR Mechell Chetty,  Nedbank CEO Mike Brown,  as well as SARS commissioner Edward Kieswetter.

In what is bound to be a riveting case study, MTN’s Charl Cuyler and Imran Cassim will share insights on “Uberising Your Learning Journey.”

Undoubtedly, the main attraction will be Sophia, the world’s’ most advanced human-like robot. Created by combining breakthrough innovations in robotics, AI and artistry, Sophia is endowed with remarkable expressiveness, aesthetics and interactivity, and can simulate a full range of facial expressions, track and recognise faces, and hold natural conversations with people.

She has made headlines all over the world, appearing on magazine covers, music videos and, in 2017, was even granted Saudi Arabian citizenship, becoming the first robot to ever have a nationality. 

During the upcoming event,Sophia will have a conversation with a South African youth that will be live streamed to a million young minds across the country to encourage young people to participate in the dialogue about artificial intelligence and its impact on the future. Attendees will also have an opportunity to take a selfie with Sophie they bring a children’s book (ages 8 to 16) to donate to Rally to Read.

Duke CE is a part of Duke University, which was spun out of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in 2000. It is ranked among the top three of Financial Times' 2019 custom executive education rankings. 

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