Something unprecedented has happened recently in the world of science, technology, and Artificial Intelligence. Could you ever imagine a robot becoming an actual citizen of some country? It appears that the ideas of Isaac Asimov are slowly coming to life and soon we might be experiencing the world of the I, Robot movie with androids mingling with humans and the difference between the two disappearing slowly but surely. But until those days are upon us, meet Sophia, the first ever robot citizen! On October 26, Saudi Arabia made the future a little bit closer by granting citizenship to Sophia, and exceptionally intelligent robot created by Hansen Robotics. Sophia might be immobile for the most part, but her brain and exceptional facial expressions make her the most stunning humanoid robot up to date!
Sophia spent three days at the city of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, taking part in live interviews. The Public Investment Fund organized the summit to bring together the most powerful thought leaders, investors, and public officials to reveal the world’s most prominent future innovations.
The Audrey Hepburn-like robot is no stranger to large audiences as she’s already appeared in the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, showcasing her amazing communication skills. Not only did she impress Jimmy Fallon, but she also made him quite nervous with her witty remarks!
It seems that Sophia fully recognized the position she’s in as during the interview she admitted it was a truly historical moment not only for her, but for the humanity as well. She also likes to joke about domination over humanity, so we can only applaud Hansen Robotics for creating such a versatile personality!
It’s hard to tell what the citizenship would mean for Sophia the robot, but it is definitely one of the most unusual and stunning news as of lately. Engineers at Hansen Robotics regard her as ‘the most beautiful and celebrated robot’, and while she might be intelligent and quite pretty, Sophia is not destined to become a Hollywood star.
Sophia and the likes of her will be trained to work with seniors and help them in various ways. They will also work as hosts and assist visitors at parties, parks, and all kinds of events.
The women of Saudi Arabia were furious when a female robot that doesn’t need to cover her head and is not required to have a male guardian, got a citizenship when thousands of women and their children live without it, with residency cards only. They are also wondering whether she will be required to wear a scarf like all Saudi Arabian women do.
Sophia doesn’t have legs yet and can’t move around on her own, but Ben Goertzel from SingularityNET, a company that helped design and build her magnificent artificial mind, promises that she will soon have arms that are able to move and fully functioning legs.
What makes Sophie really stand out from the rest of the bunch is her uncannily human-like face that is just as expressive. It twitches slightly and blinks from time to time even when no one is communicating with Sophie. When she speaks, she does it with an emotional intelligence that makes her seem truly alive!