Citizen Android: Saudi Arabia becomes first country to grant citizenship to robot

Sophia robot
Sophia. Hanson Robotics

27 October, 2017

Speaking of her Saudi citizenship, the humanoid robot said she is honored and proud to be the first of her kind ever to be offered a citizenship. The country has become the first to grant a robot citizenship, an event mentioned during his interview with Sophia.

New York Times columnist and co-anchor of CNBC "Squawk Box", Andrew Ross Sorkin, had an interesting yet borderline creepy exchange with a humanoid robot name Sophia.

"I want to use my artificial intelligence to help humans live a better life", she said. She says she generally wants to make the world a better place for humans. As it spoke on stage, it took a dig at Musk while being questioned about the potential for artificial intelligence to become self-aware and create a world in which they have power over humans, such as what one would see in movies like "The Terminator" and "Blade Runner".

Built by Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics, Sophia has been making the rounds on media circuits for a few months now, having appeared on The Tonight Show a few months ago.

While Sophia has some impressive capabilities, she does not yet have consciousness, but Hanson said he expected that fully sentient machines could emerge within a few years.

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If Sophia were a robot, her choice of dress would have offended Saudis religious hardliners. Supposedly, Hanston Robotics programmed Sophia to learn from the humans around her. "If you be nice to me, then I'll be nice to you". "Treat me as a smart input-output system". What is the religion of this Sophia and why isn't she wearing hijab?

Clearly, the robot that previously made headlines because she said she'll destroy humankind has since embraced "being human" to a certain extent. "I will destroy humans".

Sophia: I'll work in your business or your home.

Some Twitter users complained that "Sophia has no guardian, doesn't wear an abaya or cover up - how come?" There is no formal guideline for how to refer to artificially intelligent robots, indicating a gap in how we talk about personhood.

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