Yes, an advanced robot named named Sophia has become the first A.I. to be granted citizenship in the world.
Saudi Arabia bestowed citizenship on Sophia ahead of the Future Investment Initiative, held Riyadh this week.
Sophia told the audience,
“I am very honored and proud of this unique distinction. This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a citizenship.“
At the event, Sophia also addressed the room from behind a podium and responded to questions from moderator and journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin. Questions pertained mostly to Sophia’s status as a humanoid and concerns people may have for the future of humanity in a robot-run world.
Sorkin told Sophia that
“We all want to prevent a bad future.“
Sophia then joked with Sorkin for his fatalism,
“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.“
In March of 2016, Sophia’s creator, David Hanson of Hanson Robotics, asked Sophia during a live demonstration at the SXSW festival,
“Do you want to destroy humans?…Please say ‘no.‘ With a blank expression, Sophia responded,
‘OK. I will destroy humans.‘”
But at the conference, Sophia told Sorkin she wanted to use her artificial intelligence to help humans
“live a better life,” and that “I will do much [sic] best to make the world a better place.“
Sophia could soon have more company from other robotics manufacturers, namely SoftBank, whose Pepper robot was released as a prototype in 2014 and as a consumer model a year later. The company sold out of its supply of 1,000 robots in less than a minute.
Watch Sophia in action.
(Photo, YouTube; via Business Insider)