A robot created with artificial intelligence was selected by a US college to give the primary commencement speech, sparking fears of an AI takeover.

What started as a normal commencement ceremony took a turn for the bizarre on Saturday when graduates and their families were introduced to Sophia the robot, who gave an inspiring address.

Dressed in a sweatshirt for Buffalo’s D’Youville University where the commencement took place, the robot was joined by Student Government Association president John Rizk.


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“I am Sophia, a humanoid robot developed by Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics. I was designed to interact with humans and engage in conversations learning and adapting through artificial intelligence algorithms,” she said, as reported by NBC affiliate WGRZ.

With many students of the graduating class choosing to focus their careers on nursing, “Sophia” managed to tailor her speech to suggest how AI could help them in the future.

“Several ways they can be utilized include clinical decision support, predictive analytics, surgical robots, medication management, remote monitoring, and patient safety protocols,” Sophia said.

The robot also encouraged the graduates to “embrace lifelong learning” and to “be adaptable.”

“Pursue your passions, take risks, foster meaningful connections,” Sophia said.

However, her presence at the graduation was met with pushback from many furious students.

In the days leading up to the massive celebration at LECOM Harborcenter, several students started a petition on Change.org demanding the school hire a human speaker.

“The commencement is a ceremony to recognize the work that the graduates have done,” the petition states. “And the A.I. speaker creates a gimmick effect where the ceremony is no longer about the students, but this big idea that will draw publicity.”

The petition gained nearly 2,500 electronic signatures.