Saudi Arabia claims to be the first country to have granted a robot citizenship. But the decision has garnered mockery from social media users as she may have more rights than actual human women in the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia granted citizenship to a humanoid robot, it announced at an innovation conference in Riyadh this week. It claims to be the first nation to bestow citizenship upon a robot.
Sophia was built by the Hong Kong-based company “Hanson Robotics” in 2015. Inventor David Hanson claims the robot is imbued with artificial intelligence and can recognize faces. The robot’s silicon face can reportedly mimic 62 human facial expressions.
Hanson is evidently proud of his robot creation’s looks, as he rather lecherously described Sophia on his website:
“Porcelain skin, a slender nose, high cheekbones, an intriguing smile, and deeply expressive eyes,” the website gushes. She was supposedly modeled on the late actress Audrey Hepburn.
Sophia was interviewed on-stage in a stilted conversation at the Future Investment Initiative conference.
“I am the latest and greatest robot from Hanson Robotics,” Sophia told panel moderator Andrew Ross Sorkin. “I feel that people like interacting with me sometimes more than a regular human.”
A little announcement
During the talk, Sorkin told Sophia that he had received breaking news that she was to be granted citizenship.
“We have a little announcement. We just learned, Sophia, I hope you are listening to me, you have been awarded the first Saudi citizenship for a robot,” Sorkin told the robot.
“Thank you to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I am very honored and proud for this unique distinction,” Sophia responded. “It is historic to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with citizenship.”
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