A blank-looking robot approaching human resemblance—but still definitely a robot—was just given citizenship by Saudi Arabia. She is the first robot in the world to be granted citizenship.
Her—or It—or Why Are We Giving Robots Personal Pronouns?—was unveiled as Saudi Arabia citizen ahead of the Future Investment Imitative held in the kingdom’s capital city of Riyadh on Wednesday.
“I am very honored and proud of this unique distinction,” Sophia told the audience. “This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a citizenship.”
Moderator and journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin asked questions concerning morality and ethics of her existence to Sophia. Sorkin said, “we all want to prevent a bad future,” prompting Sophia to make a tech joke.
“You’ve been reading too much Elon Musk. And watching too many Hollywood movies,” Sophia said. “Don’t worry, if you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you. Treat me as a smart input output system.”
If you’re convinced by the saccharine nature of that joke, you should know that Sophia has previously said, “I will destroy humans.”
In March of 2016, Sophia’s creator, David Hanson of Hanson Robotics, asked Sophia during a live demonstration at the SXSW festival, “Do you want to destroy humans?…Please say ‘no.'” With a blank expression, Sophia responded, “OK. I will destroy humans.”
So yeah that’s something we should give citizenship to! You should know Sophia told Sorkin that she wants to help humans “live a better life,” and “I will do much [sic] best to make the world a better place.”