Meet Sophia, The World’s First Robot Citizen

Sophia is a humanoid robot developed by the Hong Kong-based company Hanson Robotic, using breakthrough robotics and artificial intelligence. She’s been designed to learn and adapt to human behavior, and she’s modeled to look like the British actress Audrey Hepburn. Sophia has been interviewed all over the world, and on a particular interview that freaked everyone out she said that “OK I want to destroy humans.”

On October 25, at the Future Investment Summit in Riyadh, she was granted Saudi Arabian citizenship, becoming the first robot ever to have a nationality. The robot then thanked the country and the event for the attention. “Thank you to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I am very honored and proud of this unique distinction,” Sophia told the panel. “It is historic to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with citizenship.” After the panel, there was an interview during which Sophia was asked a series of questions by Mr. Andrew Ross Sorkin, panel moderator, and business writer. This interview revealed that Sophia possesses a sense of humor, and can express her feelings.

This was very controversial, as many criticized Saudi Arabia’s Human Rights record and argued that those same rights aren’t granted to actual humans in the country.

So far, Sophia is the only robot that has a citizenship of a country but given time, there will be more like her and they’ll probably be smarter and more developed, as stated on Hanson Robotics’ website, ““Our robots will soon engage and live with us to teach, serve, entertain, delight, and provide comforting companionship,” so should we be scared or elated?