David Hanson develops robots that are widely regarded as the world’s most human-like in appearance, in a lifelong quest to create true living, caring machines. To accomplish these goals, Hanson integrates figurative arts with cognitive science and robotics engineering, inventions novel skin materials, facial expression mechanisms, and collaborative developments in AI, within humanoid artworks like Sophia the robot, which can engage people in naturalistic face-to-face conversations and currently serve in AI research, education, therapy, and other uses.
Hanson worked as a Walt Disney Imagineer, both a sculptor and a technical consultant in robotics, and later founded Hanson Robotics. As a researcher, Hanson published dozens of papers in materials science, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and robotics journals — including SPIE, IEEE, the International Journal of Cognitive Science, IROS, AAAI, AI magazine and more. He wrote two books including “Humanizing Robots” and received several patents. Hanson was featured in the New York Times, Popular Science, Scientic American, WIRED, BBC and CNN. He also received earned awards from NASA, NSF, Tech Titans’ Innovator of the Year, RISD, Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, and the co-received the 2005 AAAI first place prize for open interaction of an AI system. Hanson holds a Ph.D. in Interactive Arts and Technology from the University of Texas at Dallas, and a BFA in film Animation video from the Rhode Island School of Design.