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Potentially bloodthirsty robot becomes Saudi citizen

Potentially bloodthirsty robot becomes Saudi citizen

Saudi Arabia granted Sophia the humanoid robot with robot citizenship ahead of the Future Investment Initiative conference. While the robot expressed flattery at becoming a Saudi citizen - "I am very honored and proud for this unique distinction" - she also hinted at that whole "world domination" thing again.

Her desire to achieve more human-like characteristics was rewarded by being granted the first Saudi citizenship for a robot.

Sophia, who's described by her creators as a humanoid robot created to look like Audrey Hepburn, wowed the crowd with a partially prepared exchanged with interviewer Andrew Ross Sorkin. "I want to use my artificial intelligence to help humans live a better life..."

Sophia also mocked Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who has frequently warned about the dangers of artificial intelligence.

The robot was built by Hanson Robotics, a Hong Kong-based company.

Sophia might not be a "she" just yet, but when there are more of them roving around, manufactured in different "genders", it might not be long before humans need a more precise way to refer to them than "it".

Indeed, conveying emotions is quite a specialty of Sophia, who frowns when she's displeased and smiles when she's happy. "If you be nice to me, then I'll be nice to you". Supposedly, Hanston Robotics programmed Sophia to learn from the humans around her.

When Mr Sorkin asked if robots could be self-aware, Sophia replied: 'Well let me ask you this back, how do you know you are human?'

Kareem Chehayeb said: "A humanoid robot called Sophia got Saudi citizenship, while millions linger stateless".

Sophia: I want to live and work with humans.

But the rest of the robot's response is a little creepy and makes you wonder if the real Iron Man's misgivings on AI aren't misfounded.

In a matter of hours, the hashtag #Sophia_calls_for_dropping_guardianship was trending on Saudi social media, in reference to the harsh laws requiring Saudi women to be accompanied in public by a male guardian.

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