The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has granted citizenship to a robot last week. The robot named Sophia is an Audrey Hepburn lookalike which mimics human expressions.
Sophia was granted citizenship last week during a program at the Future Investment Initiative, a summit which aims to connect Saudis and investors.
“Thank you to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the country’s newest citizen said. “It is historic to be the first robot in the world granted citizenship.”
“My AI is designed around human values such as wisdom, kindness and compassion,” Sophia said. “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.”
The robot has starred in a concert, been on the cover of a fashion magazine and taken a spin in one of Audi’s autonomous cars.
There has been a major outcry over the fact that a fake woman has been afforded citizenship and freedom, while women in the country are still repressed. Sophia appeared without a male guardian, and was seen without a headscarf. Both these things are forbidden under Saudi law.
“Saudi law doesn’t allow non-Muslims to get citizenship. Did Sophia convert to Islam? What is the religion of this Sophia and why isn’t she wearing hijab? If she applied for citizenship as a human, she wouldn’t get it,” said Ali al-Ahmed, director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs
And it’s not only women’s rights activists who are upset. Foreign workers, who make up a third of Saudi Arabia’s population, are not given citizenship even though their families may have been living in the country for generations. Children of Saudi women who marry foreign men are also not given citizenship.
— Kareem Chehayeb | كريم شهيب (@chehayebk) October 25, 2017
This robot has gotten Saudi citizenship before kafala workers who have been living in the country their entire lives https://t.co/RRCMH2rtZ8
— Murtaza M. Hussain (@MazMHussain) October 25, 2017
Also Read: Finally! Saudi Arabia to Let Women Drive
Picture Credit: RT.com