Saudi Arabia just became the world's first country to grant citizenship to a humanoid robot.
The human-like AI robot surprised everybody at the Future Investment Initiative held recently in Riyadh. She also engaged in an interesting question and answer sessions with the host in front of hundreds of delegates.
The robot, named Sophia, designed by Hong Kong Company Hanson Robotics, showed how it can interact like humans at the event.
Andrew Ross Sorkin, who was moderating the event, said it was his first time ever interviewing a robot.
“Why is it so important for you to have an expressive face, given that you are a robot?” he asked.
“I want to live and work with humans so I need to express the emotions to understand humans and build trust with people,” she responded to the moderator’s question.
When Sophia was asked if robots are aware of their mechanical state, here's what she said: “Well let me ask you this back, how you know you are human?” “I want to use my artificial intelligence to help humans live a better life, like design smarter homes, build better cities of the future. I will do my best to make the world a better place,” she continued.
During the exchange, the artificially intelligent robot made fun of Hollywood for portraying negative images of robots, giving examples of movies like the “Blade Runner" and "The Terminator.”
She also took a jab at Tesla's CEO Elon Musk, who has been critical of humanoids, believing they could be "a danger to the public."
According to Hanson Robotics chief scientist Ben Goertzel, Sophia usually gives scripted answers, and when she has no response to a specific query she is programmed to turn tables and question back. At times, her answers can be off topic.
She was also granted Saudi citizenship at the event.
“I am very honored and proud for this unique distinction. This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a citizenship,” said Sophia.
The session, called “Thinking machines: Summit on artificial intelligence and robotics,” explored the potential uplift for businesses that harness AI and robotic technologies. Several experts from some of the world’s leading companies and research institutions discussed the scope for innovation.
As Sophia's unveiling at the conference in Riyadh made headlines across the globe, some keen readers couldn't help but notice that she was granted citizenship in a country that doesn't do the same with hard-working humans who have been working there for decades.
— Kareem Chehayeb (@chehayebk) October 25, 2017
This robot has gotten Saudi citizenship before kafala workers who have been living in the country their entire lives https://t.co/RRCMH2rtZ8
— Murtaza Hussain (@MazMHussain) October 25, 2017
— Sally Shin (@sallyshin) October 25, 2017
Meanwhile, others pointed out the paradox of a supposedly female robot getting citizenship in a country notorious for its dismal women's rights record.
— Sunday Times Style (@TheSTStyle) October 26, 2017
I believe the problem here is that "Sophia" the robot decided something. And that something is to do something with humans.
— Daria (@Iamnothere10) October 26, 2017
— G.P. Burdon (Author) (@gpburdon) October 25, 2017
However, most of the people were excited for Sophia.
BTW, Sophia just got the Saudi ????nationality and passport today at the @FIIKSA becoming the 1st Saudi robot!— ????? ?????? Rakan (@rakaneur) October 25, 2017
Thumbnail / Banner : Pixabay, Kalhh