NetDragon, a Hong Kong-based mobile and online game developer, announced on Friday the appointment of what it touted as the world’s first artificial intelligence (AI)-powered corporate CEO.
The virtual humanoid robot , dubbed “Ms. Tang Yu,” was awarded the formal title of Rotating CEO of Fujian NetDragon Websoft Co., Ltd. The artificial CEO will serve as a real-time data hub and analytic tool to assist with simplifying the organization’s everyday operations, according to NetDragon.
“We believe AI is the future of corporate management, and our appointment of Ms. Tang Yu represents our commitment to truly embrace the use of AI to transform the way we operate our business, and ultimately drive our future strategic growth,” NetDragon chairman Dr. Dejian Liu said in a press release.
“Looking forward, we will continue to expand on our algorithms behind Tang Yu to build an open, interactive and highly transparent management model as we gradually transform to a metaverse-based working community, which will enable us to attract a much broader base of talents worldwide and put us in a position to achieve bigger goals,” he added.
Ms. Yu may be the first instance of a robot being placed in command of a firm, but robots have been put in charge of human relations before. In 1977, Star Wars introduced the public to the fictional protocol droid C3PO. This kind of robot specifically designed for human interactions became a reality in 204, when Japanese Softbank introduced its Pepper humanoid robot, which rapidly sold out for use as a sales assistant in appliance shops and restaurants. And in 2017, the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau, Germany, debuted BlessU2, a multilingual robot meant to bestow blessings.
For his part, futurist Ray Kurzweil is hopeful about the future societal transformations brought about by AI and robotics. He told Fortune in 2017: “For every job we eliminate, we’re going to create more jobs at the top of the skill ladder. What new jobs? Well, I don’t know. We haven’t invented them yet.”