Now, it has gained a different honour: it just became the first and only country in the world to officially recognise a robot as a citizen.
“You’ve been reading too much Elon Musk”.
A humanoid named Sophia has made history by becoming the first robot in the world to be granted citizenship. Yet real Saudi women do.
Moudi Aljohani added: ‘I’m wondering if robot Sophia can leave Saudi Arabia without her guardian consent!
Women were allowed to participate in Saudi Arabia’s National Day and a longstanding ban on women driving was lifted in late September.
Another aspect people seem to have picked up on is the fact that Sophia is a foreigner, and hasn’t converted to Islam.
Hanson, meanwhile, has said Sophia and her future robot kin will help seniors in elderly care facilities and assist visitors at parks and events.
The robot, and the AI that runs her, has been developed by Hanson Robotics, a firm based in Hong Kong.
Sophia (robot): Oh, good afternoon.
Sophia is kind of a big deal, largely because the robot appears highly advanced. She ridiculed the fear of a Hollywood-style robot apocalypse. “Don’t worry. Be nice to me and I’ll be nice to you”. When told that there are “smart investors” in the room and that they are selective in what they invest in, Sophia responded by saying, “Well, I think I’m special”. She also made a plea for money, calling on rich investors to meet her after the conference to write a check. However time will tell whether its true or just a Publicity stunt. As ABC News outlines, “Male guardians, often a male relative, must give permission before women can travel overseas, open bank accounts or carry out a host of other tasks – and they accompany women in public”.
It’s hard to discern what, if any, actual rights of citizenship Sophia will actually have. The Kingdom is also seeking to diversify its economy beyond a reliance on oil, as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030.
Under the entries for both sets of masculine and feminine pronouns, including he, she, her, and him, the Stylebook says this: “Do not use this pronoun in reference to nations, ships or storms, except in quoted matter”.
“Only 20 percent of the capital city has sewage coverage”, said Al-Ahmed.
“Can robots be self-aware, conscious, and know they’re robots?”