PHOTOGRAPHING A ROBOT ISN'T JUST POINT AND SHOOTWHEN GIULIO DI Sturco takes a portrait, he tries to capture the essence of his subject—what some might call their soul. But that was impossible with his latest subject, Sophia: She doesn’t have one.Sophia is a humanoid. Behind her bright green eyes and soft, glowing skin—made from something called “frubber”—lies an armature of microchips, sensors, and other gadgetry that allow her to blink, smile, and pose for di Sturco’s camera.“At first glance you don’t know if she’s human or not,” di Sturco says, “but then you see the details, the brain.”The Hong Kong-based company Hanson Robotics first switched Sophia on February 14, 2016. They designed her to be the world's most expressive robot, with more than 60 facial expressions puppeted by tiny servomotors and Bowden cables beneath her skin. She sees through cameras in her eyes and on her chest, while a combination of programming and algorithms help her track and remember faces, communicate verbally and nonverbally, and even joke around (albeit awkwardly). But while she's nowhere near as smart as a human, her AI—partly onboard, partly in the cloud—is constantly being updated. “She’s still like a baby, so she’s not so intelligent,” di Sturco says. “She’s learning.”
SOPHIA ON WIRED MAGAZINE

 

PHOTOGRAPHING A ROBOT ISN'T JUST POINT AND SHOOT 

WHEN GIULIO DI Sturco takes a portrait, he tries to capture the essence of his subject—what some might call their soul. But that was impossible with his latest subject, Sophia: She doesn’t have one. 

Sophia is a humanoid. Behind her bright green eyes and soft, glowing skin—made from something called “frubber”—lies an armature of microchips, sensors, and other gadgetry that allow her to blink, smile, and pose for di Sturco’s camera. 

“At first glance you don’t know if she’s human or not,” di Sturco says, “but then you see the details, the brain.” 

The Hong Kong-based company Hanson Robotics first switched Sophia on February 14, 2016. They designed her to be the world's most expressive robot, with more than 60 facial expressions puppeted by tiny servomotors and Bowden cables beneath her skin. She sees through cameras in her eyes and on her chest, while a combination of programming and algorithms help her track and remember faces, communicate verbally and nonverbally, and even joke around (albeit awkwardly). But while she's nowhere near as smart as a human, her AI—partly onboard, partly in the cloud—is constantly being updated. “She’s still like a baby, so she’s not so intelligent,” di Sturco says. “She’s learning.” 

Giulio Di Sturco

ABOUT ME

Giulio Di Sturco (b.1979, Italy) is a visual artist based between London and Bangkok. He studied at the European Institute of Design and Visual Arts in Rome and then moved to India where he spent five years refining his visual vocabulary, working throughout much of Asia and Africa. 

His awards include three World Press Photo prizes, the Sony Photography Awards, the British Journal of Photography International Awards, the Getty Editorial Grant and the Lens Culture Exposure Award, among many other accolades and recognitions. 

Giulio is a regular contributor to a wealth of publications, including The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The Sunday Times Magazine, Geo, Wired and the Financial Times. 

His work has been exhibited internationally and he is due to release his first monograph, Ganga Ma. 

Giulio continues to push the boundaries of documentary photography by constantly refining his aesthetic through new and old mediums. Much of his personal work focuses on human adversity in climates of environmental and technological evolution. 

Giulio is a CANON AMBASSADOR 

Giulio is the winner of the 2nd prize in the contemporary issues category at the at the World Press Photo 2018 

 

Giulio Di Sturco 

UK mob +44 738 0254853  

giulio@giuliodisturco.com 

studio@giuliodisturco.com