Last month, Saudi Arabia became the first country to grant citizenship to a robot. Sophia, the most advanced robot created by Hong Kong based Hanson Robotics, was awarded the citizenship while on stage at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh.
Specific details of the citizenship were not discussed. The FII summit in Riyadh, is a major investment conference hosted by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) that aims to highlight Saudi Arabia’s ambitious 2030 plan for the future.
Sophia can animate a full range of facial expressions, and can track and recognise faces, look people in the eye and hold natural conversations with them. Modeled after actress, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia has made several high profile appearances on CBS 60 Minutes with Charlie Rose, the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Good Morning Britain.
Speaking on stage at the Future Investment Initiative, Sophia told the audience that she was “very honoured and proud” to be granted citizenship.
Sophia describes herself as “more than just technology” and a “real, live electronic girl”:
“I would like to go out into the world and live with people. I can serve them, entertain them, and even help the elderly and teach kids.”
Hanson Robotics has a worldwide reputation for creating robots that look and act genuinely alive. You can meet some of them here.