Artificial Intelligent Robot Receives Citizenship in Saudi Arabia

Posted October 27, 2017

Why she's earned citizenship in Saudi Arabia is unclear, though Sophia told press, "I am very honored and proud of this unique distinction".

Advanced artificial intelligence humanoid robot, Sophia, was granted citizenship at the Future Investment Initiative Forum.

The decision to grant a robot citizenship adds to the growing debate of whether or not robots should be given rights similar to human beings.

On Wednesday, CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin spoke to Sophia, a robot developed by Hanson Robotics.

Sophia said that she wants to use artificial intelligence (AI) to "help humans live a better life". "I will do my best to make the world a better place", she continued.

While Sophia has some impressive capabilities, she does not yet have consciousness, but Hanson said he expected that fully sentient machines could emerge within a few years.

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Taking a turn into arguably even more creepy territory, Sorkin again asks Sophia if robots can be conscious and know they're robots. "Thank you for having me here at the Future Investment Initiative". For one thing, the robot is clearly gendered as female-Hanson's website breathtakingly describes Sophie as "designed to look like Audrey Hepburn" and says that the robot "embodies Hepburn's classic beauty"-but is getting its "citizenship" in a country known for its repressive stance against women and foreign workers known as kafala".

"I am always happy when surrounded by smart people who also happen to be rich and powerful".

Saudi Arabia now classifies Sophia as a citizen, and this could imply that Sophia is no longer an object.

Moving forward, Sorkin discussed with Sophia the fears humans will have because of the robotic intelligence portrayed in sci-fi Hollywood movies like Blade Runner and Terminator. Aside from this, Sophia's become sort of a media darling because of her ability to engage in intelligent conversation. "Let me ask you this back, how do you know you are human?".

GP Burdon took to Twitter to say: "Sorry I'm late for work". 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.

"We were shocked when they informed us that my wife was registered as a teacher in a school located in Al Baha governorate, since 2001".