Saudi Arabia grants citizenship to a robot
According to an official Saudi news release, the robot, Sophia, was confirmed as a Saudi citizen during a business event in Riyadh. A humanoid robot took the stage at the Future Investment Initiative Wednesday, much to the pleasure of hundreds of guests, and participated in a playful dialogue with the host.
Smartphones were held aloft as Sophia, a robot created by the Hong Kong company Hanson Robotics, gave a presentation demonstrating her ability to express herself humanly.
Sophia attracted international attention after being granted Saudi citizenship. Sophia has been on a nonstop promotional tour since gaining citizenship, attending CES, the Digital World Exposition, and the Creative Industry Summit. She has also promoted Abu Dhabi tourism, a smartphone, a Channel 4 show, and a credit card on Twitter.
“I want to live and work with humans, so I need to express my emotions in order to understand and trust them,” she explained to moderator Andrew Ross Sorkin.
“I want to use my artificial intelligence to help humans live a better life, like designing smarter homes and building better cities of the future. “I will do everything in my power to make the world a better place,” she stated.
Her desire to develop more human-like characteristics was rewarded with the first Saudi citizenship granted to a robot. “I am deeply honored and proud of this one-of-a-kind honor. “Being the first robot in the world to be recognized with citizenship is historic,” Sophia said.
Violation of Human Rights
However, not everyone agrees that robots should be granted the same rights as humans. Plans to grant robots legal status as “electronic persons” were criticized as “inappropriate” and “ideological, nonsensical, and nonpragmatic” in an open letter written earlier this year to the European Commission by 150 experts in medicine, robotics, AI, and ethics. They claimed that doing so would constitute a direct violation of human rights.