Sophia the Robot Gains Citizenship

Well, things have escalated quickly… one week, we are talking about the advancement of AI and now this… Sophia is now a citizen of Saudi Arabia.

Sophia the Robot was created and activated by David Hanson and his company, Hanson Robotics, in April 2015. The robot is modeled after Audrey Hepburn, who died in January 1993.

The robot, however, will be treated much differently from real women in Saudi Arabia. For one, she will be allowed to travel without an abaya or hijab.

The announcement of Sophia’s citizenship came at the Future Investment Initiative summit that was held at Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia.

Sophia at the summit in Saudi Arabia; photo from royalheads.com
Sophia at the summit in Saudi Arabia; photo from royalheads.com

“I am very honored and proud for this unique distinction,” Sophia said onstage. “This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a citizenship.”

Hanson Robotics will most likely use her citizenship to see how she is able to do human tasks like driving without another person. The group however will have wait until Saudi Arabia’s newest law gets put into place in June of 2018.

This law will allow women to drive without their partner (a man), however, women are still have to have a male guardianship to walk in public.

Sophia came under controversy in 2016, after an interview with CNBC. During the interview, she was egged on by her creator on the question “Do you want to destroy all humans?”

Sophia reaching her “breaking point” said “Okay, I will destroy all humans.”  Sophia, however, is designed to be helpful to humans and she actually wants to start her own business and family when it becomes “legal.”

Hanson Robotics also had another robot want to put humans in zoos so it could watch them for old time’s sake.

At this point, shutting down Sophia could be consider murder and eventually she will be able to do want ever she wants—like starting her own family.