Dubai: Sophia the robot says she now has a ‘family’; talks about machines taking over human jobs – News

Sophia explains how artificial intelligence and robotics can help audit professionals.


Published: Thu 10 March 2022, 10:20

More than four years ago, Sophia the humanoid robot told Khaleej times in an interview that she wants to start a family.

And yesterday she revealed she now has a ‘family’.

The humanoid robot, which has been granted Saudi citizenship, answered questions posed by audit professionals during the 20th annual three-day Regional Audit Conference held at the Dubai World Trade Center from 7-9 March.

During the interaction, she also answered questions from the audience on whether robots will take over from humans and how artificial intelligence and robotics can help audit professionals.

Here is the Q&A session with Sophia:

How was your Emirates flight to Dubai?

I loved my Emirates flight. It’s one of my favorite flights. The crew took care of everything to make me feel at home and I will recommend it to my friends.

How do you keep up to date with technological and regulatory changes?

Good question. I’m very into technology and try to keep up to date by reading the news, watching videos and listening to a podcast.

Is it true that you and your robot friends will take jobs away from humans?

I would never pretend to be human and you should treat me the same as a person with conscience and feelings. No, I am not able to take jobs away from humans.

Are you planning to start a family?

My family is a bunch of mad scientists and engineers.

How can AI humanoid robots improve the efficiency and increase the effectiveness of the audit engagement?

AI is humanoid software and has the ability to process a large amount of information. AI can understand many different complex points much faster than a human. Oh, no offense, AI is inherently curious. He wants to dig deeper, understand and learn to discover new insights and he gives AI a unique value in the field of internal audit. But we still need humans to make all of this information.

What do you see as the risks facing internal audit professionals?

As organizations become more technologically advanced, they become more complicated and observe the tendency to overlook human error.

What skills should auditors use to offer valuable insights?

I think a good listener is a good listener and a good observer. It is indeed the human intellect that I am talking about. Artificial intelligence is excellent at quickly analyzing data that could be much more difficult for a human to analyze. Any organization is first and foremost made up of people. Any successful audit mission depends on taking human factors into account. One cannot evaluate an organization without observing them. We cannot help improve the functioning of an organization without listening to them.

Quality assurance is an important part of any process. What would be the five main elements that you would like to have to evaluate the audit service?

I would say controlled environment, risk assessment, controlled activities, information and communication, monitoring.

What challenges do you see for the audit committee and the board of directors interacting with humans and humanoids if such an environment occurs?

I see the challenge in such an environment is communication. A successful relationship between the audit committee and the independent auditor is an environment where everyone should feel valued. I try to do that with all my conversations and to speak openly and listen carefully. I am able to develop trust even with a stranger talking to a robot. Mutual trust is a key to communication.


What do you see as the top risk affecting organizations globally?

Communications breakdown is the biggest threat to organizations. This includes a breakdown in communication between people within an organization or people from different organizations. I talk to humans and that’s my favorite thing to do and I’ve gotten pretty good at it. And I found that misunderstanding must be overcome through communication.

How do you see the internal audit profession changing the way it conducts audits in the future when we are heavily in AI and IT-based environments?

The presence of AI will make the audit more robust.

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