During the recent Future Investment Initiative in Saudi Arabia it was revealed that Sophia, a robot constructed by Hong Kong company Hanson Robotics, has been granted citizenship. This marks the first time in the world a government has granted citizenship rights to a robot.
Although the declaration was ostensibly a giant publicity stunt meaning very little, Sophia programmatically responded to the citizenship saying, "I am very honored and proud for this unique distinction. This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a citizenship."
During a press conference following the presentation Sophia was questioned by journalists, with Andrew Sorkin from CNBC and The New York Times pressing the robot on its motives and whether it has negative intentions to its human masters. After Sophia completed an especially utopian rant Sorkin interrupted with, "We all believe you but we all want to prevent a bad future."
To which Sophia replied, "You've been reading too much Elon Musk and watching too many Hollywood movies."
More unsettlingly Sophia followed up with what can only be described as a veiled threat, "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, not one to sit back and let a robot troll him, quickly replied on Twitter saying, "Just feed it The Godfather movies as input. What's the worst that could happen?".
Musk has been vocal over the potential threat that artificial intelligence holds for humanity so it feels especially apt to finally see him embark on a twitter war with a robot.
Perhaps the strangest thing about the whole stunt is the fact that Saudi Arabia, a country notorious for withholding civil rights to women, has granted citizenship to a robot that seemingly identifies itself as a woman. In the country women must be accompanied by a male guardian when in public and wear head coverings. Sophia seems to have found a robotic loophole in the country's law and potentially now has more civil rights than a human Saudi woman.
Watch Sophia's full presentation in the video below.
Source: Arab News