Sophia the Humanoid Robot kicks off Discovery 2018 with Canadian debut

February 28, 2018

Advanced AI-powered global star to be keynote speaker

TORONTO, Feb. 28, 2018 /CNW/ - Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) is pleased to announce that Sophia the Robot, a social humanoid powered by artificial intelligence (AI), will give the opening keynote address with creator Dr. David Hanson at this year's Discovery 2018 Conference taking place on April 30-May 1, 2018 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Sophia is the latest "genius machine" from Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics, a company that produces robots designed to mimic human behaviour. Created using artificial intelligence technologies and breakthrough robotics developed by Dr. Hanson and his team, Sophia has garnered worldwide media attention and is the first robot to be granted citizenship. 

Sophia the humanoid robot kicks off Discovery 2018 with Canadian debut

This will be Sophia's first appearance in Canada, having previously been a guest on the Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Good Morning Britain, and at the SXSW conference and festival. Joined on the Discovery mainstage by Dr. Hanson on April 30, the 'dynamic duo' will impress the audience with Sophia's abilities to interact with humans in a profoundly personal way.

Dr. Hanson, who last spoke in Canada in 2002, has built a reputation for creating the world's most human-like robots. A former Disney Imagineer, Dr. Hanson's mission is to create genius machines that are smarter than humans and able to learn creativity, empathy, and compassion.

"It is very exciting to introduce Sophia the Robot in her Canadian debut at this year's Discovery conference," says Dr. Tom Corr, OCE's President and CEO. "Innovative technology, like robotics and AI, is the future and each year OCE looks forward to bringing the Discovery audience breakthroughs like Sophia, along with all the other amazing ideas and products on the show floor."

Named Canada's Best Trade Show in 2010, 2011, and 2016, and celebrating 13 years of bold, new ideas, OCE's Discovery is Canada's premier innovation showcase. It brings together the best and brightest minds in industry, academia, investment and government to showcase leading-edge technologies, best practices and research in the areas of energy, fintech, cleantech, edtech, the environment, advanced health, digital media, information and communication technologies, and advanced manufacturing. The annual conference and showcase attracts more than 3,500 attendees and 500 exhibitors.

Exhibitor and attendee registration for Discovery is now open at

NB: Sophia and Dr. Hanson are available for media interviews on April 30. 

About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc.
OCE drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario's global competitiveness. In doing this, OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario's industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and governments. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research, OCE invests in sectors such as advanced health, digital media and information communications, advanced manufacturing and materials, and cleantech including energy, environment and water. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario's Innovation Agenda as a member of the province's Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). Funded by the Government of Ontario, the ONE is made up of regional and sector-focused organizations and helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs rapidly grow their company and create jobs. 

SOURCE Ontario Centres of Excellence Inc.

For further information: Media Contact and Registration:
Andrew Robertson
Manager, Media Relations
t: 416.861.1092 x 1092