Saudi Arabia has become the first country to grant citizenship to a robot named Sophia and has created history by providing full citizenship to Sophia. This official status is given to her at the Future Investment Initiative conference held in Riyadh on Wednesday.
Sophia is a first female humanoid robot which is developed by David Hanson of Hanson robotics in Hong Kong and is designed in a way with artificial intelligence, facial recognition and visual data processing that she can adapt and learn human behavior and hence can work with humans. David Hanson’s goal to create a humanoid robot like Sophia is to build robots that look and act very much like humans. The artificial intelligence program within the Sophia examines conversations and extracts data which permits Sophia to respond in a more appealing and improved manner for future conversations and interactions.
The first public appearance of Sophia was at Future Investment Initiative conference where Sophia has taken part in discussion with the journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin and responded to his questions and presents her views and goals.
Andrew Ross Sorkin started discussion thereby informing Sophia about the decision of Saudi Arab Government of providing it official and complete Saudi citizenship.
“I want to thank very much the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I am very honored and proud for this unique distinction. It is historic to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a citizenship.”
In the same discussion, Sophia proved how she could alter facial expressions to demonstrate human-like feelings such as happiness annoyance, unhappiness or displeasure.
In the same conference she has also talked about her goals she wants to achieve, in her words, here it is:
“I want to use my artificial intelligence to help humans live a better life. Like design smarter homes, build better cities of the future, etc. I will do my best to make the world a better a place.”
She continued, “I want to live and work with humans so I need to express the emotions to understand humans and build trust with people.”
She was also asked about that AI can transpire robots a threat to human beings like shown in movies such as “Blade Runner 2049 to which she replied:
“You’ve been reading too much Elon Musk and watching too many Hollywood movies. Don’t worry, if you’re nice to me I’ll be nice to you. Treat me as a smart input/output system.”
To which Elon Musk also replied on twitter:
A specific group of peoples critiqued the move, marking that Saudi Arabian females must follow numerous austere Islamic laws and why restricting Saudi rules didn’t appear applied on Sophia. They asked Sophia – who has not any hair – would be required to hide her head in public or retain other woman-only rules.
I’m wondering if robot Sophia can leave Saudi Arabia without her guardian consent ! Since she’s officially Saudi
— Moudi Aljohani (@Moudhi90) October 26, 2017
She also made her appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s show Showobotics along with David Hanson and you can view it here: