The Reorient! Podcast: Jeanne Lim on Sophia the Robot and Human-AI Relationships

Originally published August 25, 2021, by The Reorient! Podcast


Jeanne Lim is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of beingAI, a transmedia AI company creating AI beings™ that build long-term engagement and trust with digital-native consumers anywhere, anytime, on any device and media platform. Jeanne is an angel investor and advisor of several startups, and a board member of Kami Intelligence, a conversational AI company.

Jeanne has over 25 years of experience in business management and technology marketing. She is the former CEO and CMO of Hanson Robotics, the creator of Sophia the robot, and held marketing leadership roles at Dell, Cisco, Danaher, and Apple, where she was the product and business manager responsible for launching Apple’s most groundbreaking products in the region. She started her career as a Group Management Trainee at John Swire & Sons.

Jeanne is a founder and director of Nama Institute, a not-for-profit organization creating solutions to gamify the learning of wisdom. She is also a Volunteer and Director of Himalayan Consensus Institute, an NGO involved in social enterprise development and climate protection.  

Jeanne has a Ph.D. in integrated and holistic health, an MBA degree from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and a BA degree in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. Recorded August 20, 2021.

Show Notes:

03:02 JL on her first job and her subsequent move to Apple.

08:26 JL on how she came to appreciate the centrality of the user experience during her years at Apple

09:20 JL on Apple’s most valuable asset, its loyal fanbase

11:26 JL on her introduction to yoga, the book that caused a life-changing epiphany and studying energy medicine in Sausalito

16:58 JL on how, upon her return to the corporate world, her colleagues were more open to the wisdom she gained from her time away because of her corporate background

20:10 JL on the process behind Sophia the robot’s very human-like interface

23:59 JL on Sophia’s ability to empathize

26:35 JL on Sophia’s curated machine learning, leading to higher levels of empathy

27:25 JL on Sophia’s first creative act as an artist

28:04 JL on her new company Being AI, a new generation of computer user interface and targeting the digital natives of Gen Z

31:36 JL on how to create morally interactive AI characters, such as ZD, with instructive backstories

43:03 JL on a more rational way to think about AI and its place in our lives

47:51 JL on the Chinese social credit system and whether there are lessons in there for the rest of us

54:19 JL on how we might measure the life of an AI Being: by productivity? by its ability to inspire? by its ability to entire into meaningful human relationships?

58:54 JL on where to draw the line on the inexorable march of technology

1:07:11 JL on the need for checks and balances on the power of big tech