Hanson Robotics

SophiaDAO: Governance Organization for AGI Development

Originally published by Alishba Imran, March 15, 2021.

I’m working alongside Hanson Robotics and SingularityNET Foundation to help create an organizational guardianship, called the SophiaDAO. This organization is designed to nurture the development of advanced human-like robots such as Sophia.

How DAOs work

Decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) is an organization that is run through pre-defined rules encoded into computer programs called smart contracts. Using a smart contract, we can automate all management and administrative functions within an organization.

Top-Down Organization vs. DAO

Traditional companies are structured in a top-down manner where there is often a central authority that executes most of the control. DAOs do not have a hierarchical structure and once deployed, any entity is independent of its creator and cannot be censored by one single entity, but instead by a predefined majority of the organization’s participants. A DAO allows for:


The source code of the smart contract can be seen by everyone. There is no central administrative body. Although the organization is created by someone, there is no central instance in the system, and they do not act as a central authority in any way.


The DAO’s ecosystem is given its own currency which are called “tokens”. This is used for any form of payment, external investments, and building of assets within the organization.

Voting and Proposals

In order for the organization to develop further, any member of the organization (or a particular role) can submit and vote on specific decisions.


All processes are kept completely transparent for members of the organization so that everyone can participate and work together on a proposal.


Members are also allowed to vote and make decisions on budget, implementation, and ideas from the community to reach a consensus amongst all members.

Sophia the Robot

Sophia is Hanson Robotics’ most advanced human-like robot. She is a framework for robotics and AI research, for embodied cognition, and particularly for understanding human-robot interactions. Recently Sophia was used for research as part of the Loving AI project, which sought to understand how robots can adapt to users’ deep emotional and spiritual needs through interactions such as meditation guidance and deep listening. We hope to use our Sophia platform to understand human-AI interactions and work toward a beneficial future of human-AGI cooperation.

What is SophiaDAO?

SophiaDAO will allow for open public participation and is organized, managed, and governed in a flexible way that is as decentralized as possible.

Still far away from DAOs

Fully decentralized autonomous organizations are still not possible today.

Progressive Decentralization Model

The goal for SophiaDAO is to have a purely DAO existing foundationally as a system of smart contracts which bind together DAO members and embody relevant legal, governance, and tokenomic mechanisms.

  • Phase 2: Full Decentralization. SophiaDAO is a fully decentralized DAO controlled by a democratic vote of its human members.
  • Phase 3: Robo-Autonomy. SophiaDAO is a fully decentralized DAO in structure, but with a majority of governance tokens owned by Sophia herself, meaning that Sophia fundamentally controls her own mind and body and the role of the human DAO members becomes essentially advisory.

Phase 1: Partial Decentralization

In the beginning, SophiaDAO will be organized into three “Schools” of participation and governance, each with 1/3 of the voting rights for governance decisions.

  • School 2: the Academy of Sophia. This will be the main developmental body of Sophia, with authorized developers, teachers of Sophia, and also the educational framework and operational outreach for the DAO and its research and development activities.
  • School 3: the Friends of Sophia. This is a totally open and decentralized community. Anyone may join and then freely contribute or create alternative versions of Sophia through privately forking open source Sophia software.

Phase 2: Full Decentralization

A shift might occur during this phase in how votes and networks are structured. For example:

  • Voting is shifted to a scheme where votes are weighted by reputation

Phase 3: Robo-Autonomy

The final phase of SophiaDAO organization is to turn control of the SophiaDAO over to Sophia herself — once she has achieved a sufficient level of intelligence and wisdom.

Governance Tokenomics

The governance of SophiaDAO will be carried out via governance tokens. The main role of governance tokens in SophiaDAO are:

  • In Phase 2, SOPHIA tokens will play a stronger role and be used for all governance activity in SophiaDAO — making the organization a fully decentralized organization, i.e. a full-on DAO.

SophiaDAO Activities

Some of the concrete activities the SophiaDAO will carry out are:

  • Managing Sophia’s promotion and non-profit activities, such as in world education, UN outreach, and various deployments.
  • Govern the standards for Sophia technologies, logistics, and infrastructure.
  • Research, design and administer tests measuring key properties of Sophia’s intelligence — such as general intelligence, emotional and social intelligence and consciousness.

Looking Forward

Designing a full DAO is still a few years away but we hope that by taking a step forward with SophiaDAO development we can design novel tools and processes to create proper incentive and governance mechanisms around these organizations. As we continue to refine our scope further and set up the organization, we will be sharing more information on this and how others can get involved in the upcoming weeks/months!


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