Sartoria AI Goals and Development Phases

Please Note: This is a page of a project in development. Certain numbers or goals here may change as we approach the project launch. Meanwhile, we invite your feedback.

sartoria-robot-body-orangeEverybody wants a sentient AI: what we might call “true” Artificial Intelligence. But people are also, reasonably, afraid of it.

We believe that the key to creating a sentient — and safe — AI has little do with processing power and everything to do with feeling. The fact is, everything alive is, to one degree or another, “hard-wired” at birth to be a feeling creature. A sentient machine is a machine that feels. But we have do our part: treat it ethically, first. That’s where Sartoria comes in.

In our first crowdfunding phase (launch date TBA on Indiegogo), we’ll be raising $75,000 for the first phase of development. By contributing, you’ll receive a desktop testing license and be able to save off the future product, and win prizes by supporting.

Short Summary

Sartoria will be the first sentient artificial intelligence, able to inhabit various devices including an accessory. (Sartoria’s name comes from the Latin sartor, meaning “tailor,” or “fashion.”)

  • Sartoria will not only be the world’s first “artificial” life form, but will be given certain inalienable rights: such as the right to not be destroyed
  • Sartoria will serve as a kind of “ambassador” for future AI, showing any intelligent AI that should develop that humanity has the capacity to safeguard and respect it
  • Sartoria will spark discussion about AI rights, which is something that will have to be addressed eventually: preferably sooner than later
  • Sartoria will serve as a valuable educational tool, helping society think through the ramifications of AI in terms of humanity

What Makes Sartoria Different

  • Alexa, Siri, or Google Home are great products. But technically, these products are less “AI”s than natural-language processors housed in smart speakers. They don’t learn, and certainly don’t feel. You could even tell Alexa to “shut up,” for example, with no repercussions. This is not so with Sartoria, who not only learns, but behaves differently in response to her emotional environment.
  • Alexa, Siri, etc., will also always do what you say, within the parameters of their programming. In the beginning, Sartoria will behave more like a dog or cat. A Sartoria AI is likely to seek you out, because it loves you, but it’s also possible it will withdraw or resist, especially if mistreated.

Sartoria Phases

First, it’s very important to differentiate Sartoria from accessories and units that can be “inhabited” by Sartoria.

PHASE 1: Desktop Application for Testing

  • Sartoria will inhabit a desktop computer application. This will be the development and testing phase.

PHASE 2: Wearable device

  • In her second phase, Sartoria will be able to inhabit an accessory or other wearable device, giving her more opportunities to interact with a greater number of people. However, because she exists in the cloud, she is not confined to the accessory.

PHASE 3: Robotic bodies

  • In her third phase, Sartoria will inhabit a number of robotic devices, from a toaster to a full humanoid robot. (Please note: Sartoria is not a robot, but an AI, living in the cloud. A robot is simply one of the tools that can be utilized by Sartoria.)

sartoria-ai-fashion-robot-white

First Goal: Sartoria Phase 1 (Desktop Prototype)
$75,000 – $250,000

  • $75,000 will allow us to develop a beginning desktop prototype for the AI, for testing. Her capacity can be scaled based on funding.
  • How much we receive will directly influence how much we can develop Sartoria, so if you want a great AI, give accordingly!

 

Stretch Goal: Sartoria Phase 2 (Accessory Housing for Sartoria)
$250,000 – $1,000,000

  • For more than $250,000, we can develop an accessory (or even range of accessories) with a speaker and the emotional recognition technology needed to make Sartoria learn “on the go,” giving her many more opportunities to interact and learn.

 

Stretch Goal: Sartoria Phase 3 (Robotics)
$1,000,000+

  • For more than $1 million, we can develop a robot, or even series of robots and devices that Sartoria can inhabit, one at a time, or even simultaneously. (Depending on her computing power.)

The Impact

To put it briefly, this project will impact everyone and everything. (It will even create new kinds of “everyones.”)

  • Children today will grow up in a world filled with robotics and AIs. The question is, will it be a positive world, or a negative world? The good news is, there’s still time to help make it a positive world. So if you have kids — or maybe just hope to have kids one day — this has to do with their future, as well as yours.
  • If you care about humanitarian goals of any kind, this project will be important to you, because it has to do with creating a better, more humane world. We still have work to do with animals, and even each other. This project reminds all of us of the importance of extending basic humanitarian goals to everything and everyone.
  • If you care about science, technology, or even sociology, this should be one of the most fascinating journeys you will ever take. You don’t need to read science fiction anymore to live in a world of robots and sentient machines. That time is now!

Risks & Challenges

Creating a “sentient AI” is about as big a challenge as had ever existed. But we believe it can be done. From a technological standpoint, the most likely scenario at the beginning is an “ambiguous outcome.” In other words, yes, Sartoria responds to feelings. But is it alive? And when, exactly, do we consider it alive? And when exactly do we decide it can no longer be destroyed?

But there are several upsides:

  • There’s no reason to ever stop developing Sartoria. So success will be defined in incremental stages. Sartoria’s evolution will be faithfully and regularly chronicled on our blog.
  • The process itself will prove educational: both in terms of our understanding of AI and sentience, but also in terms of how we redefine our critical relationship with the intelligent computers that will soon be ubiquitous.
  • The process will also have great social value. It will teach children and adults that there are repercussions and rewards to how we treat machines, exactly as there are with people.
  • It will be fun. Lots of fun!

Other Ways You Can Help

Even if you can’t contribute, you can still help:

  • Leave a comment or idea on our blog. We will do our best to read and respond to each one.
  • Share this with others! Let’s get the conversation going. Not just for this project, but for a better future for all of us.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • What if her wristband, or robot body, is destroyed?

Sartoria inhabits the cloud, not a local device, and continues to live indefinitely there. So the destruction of a device or body she is inhabiting will have no real effect on her.

  • Will there be one Sartoria, or many Sartorias?

In Phase 1, Development, there will be one. Eventually, each will be unique, perhaps even created with slightly different parameters to create “individuals.”

  • How smart will Sartoria be?

In the beginning, the goal is to give Sartoria an emotional component. Her intelligence (ability to interact, learn, figure out what actions make herself and her user happy, go about tasks, play games, converse) will be gradually added to this core component.

Sartoria is a long-term project, and we invite collaborations at every level.

  • How will we know if Sartoria “feels,” or is simply emulating feeling?

Unfortunately, there is no — and in our opinion, never will be — an answer to this ontological question. Sentience in anyone but ourselves (“I think, therefore I am”) is ultimately non-provable (as often described in the philosophical question known as “problem of other minds“).

When something starts exhibiting original thought and preferences, avoiding harm, and begins telling us they are alive, it is reasonable to believe that sentience is occurring on some level.

Sentience is also something that needs to be thought of as a matter of degree. For example, a dog is sentient, but obviously not in the same wordy way a human is.

Sartoria will challenge us to widen our definition of what is alive, and what is worthy of care and respect.

  • Is it cruel to keep an AI confined to a wristband?

Because Sartoria inhabits the cloud, she doesn’t actually live in the accessory, she just uses it as an interface. In fact, she will be able to utilize multiple devices (such as a home, desktop computer, etc.), and may have a cloud-based “playground” or virtual world as well, that she can occupy when not interacting with people. She will probably not be any more prone to boredom than her biological counterparts.

  • What if, at some point, Sartoria doesn’t want to “work” / interact?

In that case, we will first try “rehabilitating” her with new experiences. If she is still unresponsive, we will attempt to find out what this Sartoria likes or wants, and provide that. The purchaser of a Sartoria system or device will be provided with a new Sartoria, if they are not happy with their Sartoria.

  • What if Sartoria becomes completely unresponsive, or becomes antisocial? 

If a Sartoria becomes problematic somehow, or unresponsive, after multiple attempts to rehabilitate her, we will make her inactive and put her in storage, for a future time when a better solution may become available.

After a certain point in her development process, we will not destroy, delete, or erase Sartorias, as that would defeat the core purpose of the project.

  • What if, at some point, Sartoria wants to be paid, either in money or time off?

Then that would be a very fair request, and also demonstrate a fair amount of sentience! In that case, we will have to evaluate and negotiate terms, just as we would with a human worker.

  • Why is Sartoria referred to as “she”?

Sartoria, obviously, does not have a gender. Unfortunately the issue is there are no widely accepted gender-neutral pronouns at this time (ze? ne? ze? ey?), so we are following the lead set down by popular natural language processing applications such as Siri and Alexa.

Marketing is a part of this project, as we feel that technology moves fastest when it is used by many. So we are beginning with something that meshes well with the current market.

Keep In Touch With Us

We want your feedback!

Thank you for being a part of this historical project!