Many people in America are fighting for citizenship. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is making history by giving citizenship to a robot named Sophia and she even held a press conference. Check out the full story below:
The humanoid robot, Sophia, told the audience at a conference in Riyadh how ‘honored’ she was at being made a Saudi citizen.
As news of Sophia’s citizenship began to spread, many people started to question whether she had more rights than women in the country. She addressed the conference in English without wearing a headscarf and abaya, which Saudi women are obliged to wear in public. ‘Thank you to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I am very honored and proud for this unique distinction,’ Sophia said.
‘It is historic to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with citizenship.’ Thousands of Twitter users began circulating an ironic hashtag in Arabic, which translated as ‘Sophia calls for dropping guardianship’.
In the Middle East country, a guardianship system means every women has to have a male companion. This male guardian can step in and act on the woman’s behalf if he chooses to. Others on social media also expressed their concern over Sophia’s citizenship.
Kareem Chehayeb said: ‘A humanoid robot called Sophia got Saudi citizenship, while millions linger stateless. What a time to be alive.’ Moudi Aljohani added: ‘I’m wondering if robot Sophia can leave Saudi Arabia without her guardian consent! Since she’s officially Saudi.’
Back at the conference, Sophia threw shade on Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, when she was asked about the evil futuristic robots depicted in films like Blade Runner 2049. She said humans have nothing to fear, adding: ‘You’ve been reading too much Elon Musk and watching too many Hollywood movies.’
She said: ‘My artificial intelligence is designed around human values like wisdom, kindness and compassion. ‘I strive to become an empathetic robot.’ It is unclear what Sophia’s unique citizenship will mean in practical terms, and whether it is now illegal to turn her off or dismantle her.