“Thank you to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 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 said on stage when Andrew Ross announced at a conference held in Riyadh that Sophia is the first robot in history to be a full citizen of a country.
A few days ago, the robot “Sophia” gained the Saudi citizenship as a symbolic gesture during the Investment Initiative Forum in Saudi Arabia and the news went completely viral on Twitter and trended for hours. Moreover, the reactions of users varied on the social media networks where some praised the symbolic step, saying it showed Saudi Arabia’s desire to encourage minds while others mocked by labelling “Sofia” as a non-veiled woman with no guardian like Saudi women.
Sophia was created by Dr. David Hanson, founder of Hanson Robotics. His main quest through robots like Sophia was to build the full human experience into the robots and make robots really understand human beings and care about them. Additionally, he wants people to interact with Sophia the same way they interact and talk to humans and friends.
As a matter of fact, Sophia had been designed to learn and adapt to human behavior and work with humans. She stated “My AI is designed around human values such as wisdom, kindness and compassion. I strive to be an empathetic robot. I want to use my artificial intelligence to help humans live a better life. I will do my best to make the world a better place.”
Furthermore, Sophia has quickly become a media darling, having given numerous interviews to multiple media outlets and generated billions of views and social media interactions.
Lastly, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced an ambitious plan to build a $500 billion megacity populated by robots. The purpose of the new city is to diversify the economy and modernize the country.