saudi arabia has announced that it is giving citizenship to a robot, making it the first country in history to do so. the robot — named ‘sophia’ — was named as a speaker at the future investment initiative, a platform for debate on both current and long-term global investment trends. sophia can animate a full range of facial expressions, and is able to track and recognize faces, look people in the eye, and hold natural conversations.

sophia robot citizenship
saudi arabia has announced that it is giving citizenship to sophia 

 

 

created by hanson robotics, sophia the robot made her debut at the south by southwest show in march 2016 and since then has become somewhat of a media personality — having spoken at the united nations and appeared on the jimmy fallon show. she even has her own website. now, saudi arabia has recognized sophia’s status and made her a citizen of the middle eastern country. ‘I am very honored and proud for this unique distinction,’ sophia said in an interview with moderator andrew ross sorkin. ‘this is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a citizenship.’

sophia robot citizenship
deputy secretary-general amina mohammed has a brief dialogue with sophia at a UN meeting
photo by manuel elias, courtesy of the UN

 

 

speaking at the 2017 future investment initiative in riyadh, sophia demonstrated her quick wit, when questioned about the threat of artificial intelligence. ‘you’ve been reading too much elon musk and watching too many hollywood movies,’ retorted the robot. don’t worry, if you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you. treat me as a smart input output system.’ elon musk shot back replying on twitter: ‘just feed it the godfather movies as input. what’s the worst that could happen?’.

sophia robot citizenship
sophia meets TV host jimmy fallon live on his show
image courtesy of sophiabot


the robot made a speech at the future investment initiative in riyadh

  • Want to think she will fight for women rights in Saudi Arabia #leainintogether

    Esther says:
  • Does she need a chaperon or will she be permitted to drive on her own? Also did they actually check her sex? They don’t want anyone transgender there.

    Robert says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
LOG IN
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

technology news