Saudi Arabians are up in arms because a humanoid robot who doesn’t “cover up” or abide by the country’s strict laws was granted citizenship at a tech conference in Riyadh this week.
Sophia, created by Hanson Robotics in Hong Kong, was given official status Wednesday at the Future Investment Initiative conference.
“I am very honored and proud for this unique distinction,” she told the crowd, according to the BBC. “This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a citizenship.”
Sophia gave insightful and witty answers in an interview with moderator Andrew Ross Sorkin, a columnist for the New York Times and CNBC anchor.
Asked whether robots were conscious and self-aware, she answered, “Well, let me ask you this back, how do you know you are human?” Arabian Business reported.
video. good grief!!
Meet Sophia, a robot who made her first public appearance in the Saudi Arabian city of Riyadh on Monday.
Sophia was such a hit she was immediately given Saudi citizenship in front of hundreds of delegates at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh on 25 October.
But as pictures and videos of Sophia began circulating on social media many started to ask why a robot already seemed to have secured more rights than women in the country.
“It is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with citizenship.” Please welcome the newest Saudi: Sophia. #FII2017
Sophia, created by Hong Kong company Hanson Robotics, addressed the audience in English without the customary headscarf and abaya, a traditional cloak which Saudi women are obliged to wear in public.
“I am very honoured and proud for this unique distinction,” she said. “This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a citizenship.”
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Staff writer, Al Arabiya EnglishThursday, 26 October 2017
Sophia, an artificially intelligent robot, made regional headlines this week when she was chosen to moderate a session at the landmark Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh. She’s also making another record as the world’s first recognized robot after Saudi Arabia announced they were granting her citizenship.
In a video that has gone viral on social media, the session’s other (more human) moderator Andrew Ross Sorkin told Sophia of the news.
“Sophia, I hope you’re listening to me, you have been awarded what is going to be the first Saudi citizenship for a robot,” Sorkin said.
h/t Digital mix guy