During the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, it was announced that Saudi Arabia will be granting citizenship to a humanoid robot, Sofia, making her the first AI in history to be recognised by this title.
Sophia has been created by Hanson Robotics‘ founder, David Hanson. The firm is known for creating human-like robots.
“I want to thank very much the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I am very honoured and proud for this unique distinction. This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recogised with a citizenship,” Sofia said upon recieved the news during an interview with journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin.
She added that she is a ‘special’ investment, later demonstrating how she can use facial expressions to communicate emotions.
“I want to live and work with humans so I need to express the emotions to understand humans and build trust with people,” she explained.
Watch full interview below:
When asked whether robots can be self-aware and if that is something she agrees with, Sofia avoided direct answers and instead poked fun at Hollywood and Tesla’s Elon Musk.
“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,” she answered.
Sofia has been designed based on the foundation of three humanistic characteristics: creativity, empathy and compassion.
Details of Sophia’s citizenship has not yet been revealed, so it is still unclear whether she will be granted the same rights as a human citizen.
Feature image by CNBC