Jeffrey Epstein told a journalist he funded Sophia the robot, who he claimed would have 'more empathy than a woman'

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Jeffrey Epstein's tangled web leads down some surprising paths, including, he claimed, to Sophia the robot. The female robot styled after Audrey Hepburn made headlines in recent years for her eerily lifelike skin and appearance, complete with a diverse set of facial expressions, and the artificial intelligence she uses to spout off quotes like "OK. She also got in a Twitter fight with Chrissy Teigen. In a new essay detailing a journalist's friendship with Jeffrey Epstein over the past three decades, Edward Jay Epstein (the two are not related) says the wealthy financier told him in April 2013 that he was funding a Hong Kong group to build "the world's smartest robot," named Sophia. Sophia was built by Hanson Robotics, a Hong Kong company created and led by David Hanson. In a statement shared with Business Insider, Hanson denied that Epstein ever directly contributed funding to either Sophia or Hanson Robotics. "With all of our software efforts, both inside Hanson Robotics, and via collaboration with universities and other institutions, we seek to further our mission to empower socially intelligent AI and robots that enrich the quality of human lives.

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