In a bizarre move, Saudi Arabia granted a robot the right to citizenship this week, thereby becoming the first country to grant citizenship to a humanoid. The robot is named Sophia was created by Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics with the aim of aiding seniors and visitors to parks. Sophia has cameras with face recognition and voice recognition capabilities and an AI software that learns by interacting with people.
Modelled after the late Hollywood actress Audrey Hepburn, the robot was introduced at a tech summit in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh. Sophia told the panel,
I am very honoured and proud of this unique distinction. This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a citizenship.
While demonstrating her human-like abilities, Sophia showed her angry and sad faces. When asked whether robots could become self-aware in the future, she replied,
Well, let me ask you this back. How do you know you are human?
Sophia even made remarks about Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk who earlier expressed his reservations at the speed at which Artificial Intelligence was improving and how integrated would it become with our daily lives in the future. She took a dig at him by saying,
You’ve been watching too many Hollywood movies. If you’re nice to me, then I’ll be nice to you.
Though, not many people were impressed by Saudi Arabia’s move with Tweeps criticising the country for its deplorable human rights and treatment of women. Take a look at some of the Tweets:
An islamic dictator country grants citizenship to a robot?? Not historic but sad & insane. SA should start treating gays & women as citizens
— Marcel Bullinga (@futurecheck) October 26, 2017
First learn to respect humans.
— MunzirNaqvi (@MunzirNaqvi) October 26, 2017
they must of added a pair of balls to the Andriod otherwise it would have to ask if it wanted to leave the house
— David Willson (@OfficeMassageUK) October 26, 2017
And its already has more rights than women
— Mr. B (@ItsMistaBurns) October 26, 2017
will the robots pray facing at Mecca?,if not cut their hands.
— Simango washington (@Simangowashing4) October 26, 2017
Next: Robot goes to jail for not wearing a headscarf
— The West Remembers (@_TheFireWithin_) October 26, 2017
Women in Saudi Arabia were recently allowed to drive and obtain licenses, however, they still need permission from a male member of the family in order to step out of their homes.