This Robot Was Granted Citizenship in Saudi Arabia

In a bid to promote Saudi Arabia as a place to develop artificial intelligence, the oil-rich country granted citizenship to a robot.

Andrew Ross Sorkin (moderator): You have been now awarded what is going to be the first Saudi citizenship for a robot.

In an historic move for both human- and robot-kind, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia officially granted its first-ever robot citizenship. "Treat me as a smart input-output system", Sophia said.

Pressed on movies like Blade Runner, and the dangers of AI, Sophia said: "You've been reading too much Elon Musk and watching too many Hollywood movies". During her interview, Sorkin asked Sophia if humanity had anything to be anxious about in regards to her and other artificial intelligence, a topic that Musk has not shied away from in the past.

Indeed, conveying emotions is quite a specialty of Sophia, who frowns when she's displeased and smiles when she's happy.

According to Hanson Robotics chief scientist Ben Goertzel, Sophia usually gives scripted answers, and when she has no response to a specific query she is programmed to turn tables and question back.

In case you haven't seen Sophia before, the bot has made headlines over the past couple years when its previous displays of "human-like" expression haven't exactly impressed...

When asked about Musk's concerns that AI could destroy humanity, Sophia told reporters, "Don't worry, if you're nice to me, I'll be nice to you".

In an article following the event, the BBC questioned whether the robot now had more rights in Saudi Arabia than human women. I was told that the people here at the Future Investment Initiative are interested in future initiatives which means AI, which means me. "Please say no", the robot replied, "OK, I will destroy humans".

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

"Sophia has no guardian, doesn't wear an abaya or cover up - how come?"

"Our robots will soon engage and live with us to teach, serve, entertain, delight, and provide comforting companionship", the company says on its website.


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