Saudi Arabia has given a robot citizenship, as you do.
The artificial intelligence (AI) driven thing, ‘Sophia’, made an appearance at an investment conference in the country.
The robot has been built by Hong Kong firm Hanson Robotics, whose founder, David Hanson, longs to make machines that look and act like humans. But why? According to the inventor, it’s to allow robots to form meaningful relationships with humans so ‘that you care about the robots. And as we develop artificial intelligence, the robots will care about you… man and machine will create a better future for the world.’ Right.
Anyway, the Saudi government’s decision to grant a pretend human woman citizenship hasn’t gone down very well with some of the country’s real human women, who are made from boring old stuff like skin and blood rather than exciting wires and gears.
Saudi’s human women have to cover their hair and be escorted by a male when out and about. Sophia, meanwhile, isn’t constrained by such stone age regulations and come and go as it pleases without anything on its head. They’ll be giving it a driving license next.
Here’s a video of Sophia speaking to a room of important men: