AI Robot Speaks at College Commencement Ceremony

Artificial intelligence (AI) has taken the world by storm, showing up in most sectors of life. College graduations are no exception. On May 11, 2024, the AI robot named Sophia delivered an address at the D’Youville University commencement ceremony. D’Youville University adopts a developmental theme each year, and artificial intelligence was the theme of the 2023-2024 school year. Therefore, instead of a traditional commencement speech to graduates, the University opted to have the school’s Student Government Association president interview Sophia. When asked to give advice to the graduating class of 2024, Sophia drew from the common themes found in commencement speeches and promoted lifelong learning, adaptability, risk taking, fostering connections, and pursuing passions. More than 2,500 students signed a petition to replace Sophia as the commencement speaker and stressed the value of human connection, particularly in education.