Sophia is first Robot Recognized as a Citizen

Saudi Arabia has officially recognised a humanoid robot as a citizen, marking the first time in history that an AI device has been awarded such status. The robot “Sophia was named as a speaker at the future investment initiative, a platform for debate on both current and long-term global investment trends.

Sophia, an intelligent humanoid robot created by Hong Kong company Hanson Robotics, announced the citizenship herself during a panel discussion at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Saudi Arabia.

Although the declaration was ostensibly a giant publicity stunt meaning very little, Sophia programmatically responded to the citizenship saying, “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.”

Sophia can animate a full range of facial expressions, and is able to track and recognize faces, look people in the eye, and hold natural conversations.

Speaking at the 2017 Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, Sophia demonstrated her quick wit, when questioned about the threat of artificial intelligence. “You’ve been reading too much Elon Musk and watching too many hollywood movies,” Sophia responded. “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 quickly shot back replying on twitter: “Just feed it the godfather movies as input. What’s the worst that could happen?”.

Here she is on Jimmy Fallon’s show: