Saudi Arabia becomes first country to give a robot citizenship (and Sophia is 'honoured')


Published: 2017-10-26 14:43

Last Updated: 2021-06-17 13:56

Sophia makes her speech at the Future Investment Initiative conference. (YouTube)
Sophia makes her speech at the Future Investment Initiative conference. (YouTube)

Saudi Arabia has become the first country to ever grant a non-human citizenship. Believe it or not, Sophia the humanoid robot is now officially a Saudi citizen.

“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,” Sophia said.

The robot was in Riyadh on Wednesday where she gave a presentation at the Future Investment Initiative conference.

The emotionally-intelligent machine was granted citizenship as a “reward for her desire to achieve more human-like characteristics,” according to Arab News.

“I want to live and work with humans so I need to express the emotions to understand humans and build trust with people,” she told the session’s moderator, Andrew Ross Sorkin.

The hundreds of delegates in attendance were amused by Sophia, who had a humorous exchange with Sorkin.

But Sophia wasn’t there for the laughs; she had much to answer about Artificial Intelligence and the future of robots.

When asked about whether her kind can be self-aware, she answered:

“Well let me ask you this back, how do you know you are human? I want to use my artificial intelligence to help humans live a better life, like design smarter homes, build better cities of the future. I will do my best to make the world a better place.”

You can watch Sophia’s full speech below.