Saudi Arabia has made history when she became the first country to give citizenship to a robot. Her name is Robot Sophia.
The humanoid robot, named Sophia, at a conference in Riyadh, told the audience how “honored” she was to become a Saudi citizen.
This news about the citizenship of Sophia begins to spread very fast. A lot of people started to question whether she had more rights than women in the country.
Sophia addressed the conference by speaking English.
She was not wearing a headscarf and abaya. And Saudi women are actually obliged to wear in public. She said:
Thank you to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I’m very proud and honored about this unique distinction. It is a historic thing to be the first robot in the world recognized with citizenship.
A lot of users on Twitter begin circulating an ironic hashtag in Arabic. Those have been translated as: “Robot Sophia calls for dropping guardianship”.
In this Middle East Country, a guardianship system actually means that every woman has to have a male companion. The male guardian can step in and act on the woman’s behalf if he chooses to do so.
Other users of social media also expressed their concern over the citizenship of Sophia.
Kareem Chehayeb, a Twitter user, wrote that a humanoid robot named Sophia is the first robot that got a citizenship, in the state Saudi Arabia, while millions of people linger stateless.
What a time to be alive.
Another user, named Aljohani said:
I’m wondering if the robot Sophia can actually leave the country without her guardian consent. Since she officially got a Saudi citizenship.
Back to the conference, Sophia was asked about the evil futuristic robots. Those depicted in films like Blade Runner, 2049. She threw shade on Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla.
She explained that we, humans, have nothing to fear from them, adding:
Elon Musk, you have been reading too much and watching too many Hollywood movies.
Sophia said that she has her artificial intelligence designed around human values. Values such as wisdom, kindness, and compassion. She said that she was striving to become an empathetic robot.
CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin interviews Sophia, about the future of artificial intelligence at a Future Investment Institute panel in Saudi Arabia. You can watch the whole interview HERE.
It is still unclear what the unique citizenship of this robot will mean in practical terms. Whether it is now illegal to turn her off or even dismantle her. [Inspired by METRO]