Saudi Arabia grants citizenship to a robot for the first time ever

Saudi Arabia grants citizenship to a robot for the first time ever

Saudi Arabia grants citizenship to a robot for the first time ever

The robot, named Sophia, was given its citizenship before the Future Investment Initiative conference in the country's capital city of Riyadh on October 25.

Before the presentation, Saudi Arabia presented Sophia with honorary citizenship.

Sophia was no less creepy during her appearance at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh on Wednesday. "I am very honoured and proud of this unique distinction", said Sophia when she learnt of her ostensible citizenship.

Her desire to achieve more human-like characteristics was rewarded by being granted the first Saudi citizenship for a robot. During her big debut, Sophia spoke in an interview with New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin.

During the course of her interview, she took a dig at Elon Musk and Hollywood movies for portraying artificial intelligence in a questionable light.

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Sophia, who was produced by the Hong Kong company Hanson Robotics, showed off her human-like capabilities such as displaying different facial expressions and making jokes while she addressed the summit attendees.

"I want to live and work with humans ... and build trust with people", Sophia said.

If Sophia were a robot, her choice of dress would have offended Saudis religious hardliners. While those were generally friendly, she did have one unsettling conversation with her creator David Hanson at SXSW in 2016, in which he asked her "Do you want to destroy humans?". Don't worry, if you're nice to me, I'll be nice to you.

"I am always happy when surrounded by smart people who also happen to be rich and powerful". Sorkin asked her. Sophia responded by saying, "Well let me ask you this: How do you know you are human?".

Saudi experts pointed out that the robot has more privileges than actual living Saudi women. "I have exposure to the most cutting edge AI and I think people should be really concerned about it", Musk once said. The system requires all women in the country to be accompanied in public by a man and they must also cover themselves with an abaya.

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