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Saudi Arabia Grants Citizenship to a Female Robot, Sophia

Posted by George on Fri 27th Oct, 2017 - tori.ng

History has been made in Saudi Arabia today as a humanoid robot has been granted citizenship for the first time.

 
Sophia
 
The robot, Sophia, took to the stage at a conference in Riyadh this week to express her delight at being given citizenship, which she described as 'historical.'
 
Sophia also mocked Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, claiming that her interviewer had been 'reading too much Elon Musk', in response to his concerns about robots.
 
Not everyone is happy with the Sophia's citizenship, with some describing her as 'bizarre' and others referring to it as 'Terminator in real time.
 
Sophia is a humanoid robot designed by Hong Kong firm, Hanson Robotics, who has previously hit the headlines for addressing the UN.
 
Speaking at the conference, Sophia said: 'I am very honoured and proud for this unique distinction.
 
'This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a citizenship.'Sophia went on to explain her hopes for robots in the future.
 
 
During an exchange with moderator, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Sophia said: 'I want to live and work with humans so I need to express the emotions to understand humans and build trust with people.'
 
The robot also bizarrely took a dig at Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla.
 
When Mr Sorkin said that 'we all want to prevent a bad future', Sophia 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.' 
 
Elon Musk has since responded to Sophia's dig, tweeting: 'Just feed it The Godfather movies as input. What's the worst that could happen?' 
 
While Sophia is happy with her citizenship, other have expressed concerns on Twitter about it.
 
Kareem Chehayeb said: 'A humanoid robot called Sophia got Saudi citizenship, while millions linger stateless. What a time to be alive.'
 
GP Burdon added: 'Sorry I'm late for work. I was watching the beginning of the Terminator in real time.'
 
And Grant J Kidney simply described the honour as 'bizarre and terrifying.' 
 
This isn't the first time that Sophia has worried people. 
 
In March 2016, David Hanson, Sophia's creator, asked the robot: 'Do you want to destroy humans?...Please say no.' 
 
Worryingly, Sophia responded, 'OK. I will destroy humans.'
 
Watch the video of Sophia's interview below:
 
 

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