Sophia robot gets Saudi Arabia citizenship, but critique followsBy Staff Writer 27 October 2017 | Categories: news
If this isn’t a sign that we surely live in the most interesting times, then nothing is. ABC News reports on Sophia, a robot with human features that has been granted citizenship during this week in Saudi Arabia. It was soon met with backlash, however, seeing that the robot, Sophia, is said to now have more rights than the women and foreign citizens living in the country.
Sophia, introduced to a crowd at the Future Investment Initiative conference held in the capital city Riyadh, was informed on stage that she has been granted Saudi citizenship, apparently the first robot in the world to receive the honour..
"I’m very honoured and proud for this unique distinction. This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognised with a citizenship,” she said.
However, according to ABC News, social media was quick to point out that Sophia seems to enjoy more freedom than other women in the country. This since she appeared on stage without the compulsory modest dress, nor any male guardianship as required by Saudi law.
Twitter users used the hashtag #Sophia_demands_the_repeal_of_guardianship to comment on Sophia’s newfound rights.
Sophia, designed by Hanson Robotics Ltd., has the ability to track and recognise faces, as well as mimic facial expressions, and can apparently hold natural conversations. She has been on the cover of Elle magazine and appeared on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, so she is no stranger to the limelight.
Saudi Arabia does not have a good track record of human rights. According to CNN, Saudi Arabia's crown prince did note at the same conference that there will be a push to destroy extremist ideologies.
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