AI Humanoid Sophia On A World Tour, Gets World’s First Robot Visa

Saudi Arabia robot

As bizarre it may sound, but the AI humanoid Sophia has been granted the world’s first robot visa for her world tour. This is the same robot which was granted citizenship by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia last year. The kingdom doesn’t allow non-Muslims to get citizenship. Last year at the Future Investment Initiative, Sophia appeared without a male guardian, and was seen without a headscarf, both these things are forbidden in the country.

The robot, named Sophia mimics human expressions, and was issued the electronic visa upon her arrival at Azerbaijan’s Baku International Airport. On her way to the airport, the sophisticated robot met the Caucasus nation’s President, Ilham Aliyev.

For some Sophia seems amazing, while some feel it’s creepy and unreal.

A few AI experts have questioned Sophia’s persuasive use of language and intricate facial expressions, calling it merely a ‘sophisticated puppet’. Sophia is a celebrity now and currently is in Azerbaijan for a tech conference, where she is a keynote speaker.

Also Read: Finally! Saudi Arabia to Let Women Drive

“My AI is designed around human values such as wisdom, kindness and compassion,” Sophia had said earlier. “I strive to be an empathetic robot. I want to use my artificial intelligence to help humans live a better life. I will do my best to make the world a better place.” 

She first came into the limelight two years ago as a super-intelligent human-like prototype with a realistic face and abilities like blinking, looking from side to side and talking like an actual human being.

“Mr. President, I am pleased to meet with you. Azerbaijan has amazed me,’ Sophia said after her meeting with Aliyev in the southern Azerbaijani city of Imishli last week. “I have seen Baku’s unique architectural style, modern buildings and other technological achievements.”

Sophia is modelled after Audrey Hepburn, and was designed by Hong Kong firm Hanson Robotics.

Picture Credit: RT.com

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