Saudi citizenship to ‘Robot Sophia’ sparks outrage

Riyadh : The world’s first robot, Robot Sophia bestowed with citizenship of Saudi Arabia, is currently under controversy. In the conference held in Saudi Arabia last week, the ’Humanoid Robot’ ‘Sophia’ was granted citizenship of Saudi Arabia. At that time, she had pledged to work for the welfare of mankind; however, it has come to the fore that she had made a controversial statement one and half year ago that she would destroy humans. Meanwhile, analyst, international researcher and renowned businessman Elon Musk has strongly condemned Sophia’s citizenship.

Last week, a ‘Future Investment Initiative’ conference had been organized and initiated by Saudi Crown Prince ‘Mohammad bin Salman’. During this conference, Saudi Arabia granted citizenship to ‘Humanoid Robot’ ‘Sophia’. This is the first incident in the world, where a nation has endowed citizenship to a ‘Robot’. ‘Sophia’ has been manufactured by Dr. David Hanson, founder of ‘Hanson Robotics’ Honk Kong. Sophia has an ‘Artificial Brain’ fabricated with ‘Blockchain’ ‘Technology’ centralized for digital currencies.

‘Robot Sophia’ the first ever robot in the world to receive the citizenship of a country; is currently under debate. While giving citizenship to ‘Sophia’, a controversial statement made one and a half year ago had been revived. In an event in March-2016, Sophia’s creator Dr. Hanson questioned her, “Do you want to destroy humans? “Dr. Hanson prompted, ’Please say no.’’ thereby warning her. However, ‘Sophia replied, “Ok ! I will destroy humans.” There was a feeling of indignation after Saudi bestowed citizenship to the robot, that had spoken of destroying humans.

While the women in Saudi Arabia have no special rights, Sophia the robot with an exterior female form has been criticized by Saudi and the Gulf countries for being granted direct citizenship. Ali al-Ahmed, Director of Institute for Gulf Affairs reminded that Saudi has  no provision to grant citizenship to non-Muslims. Under these circumstances, Al-Ahmad expressed his heartburn about a robot being endowed citizenship. Professor Hussein Abbass, an AI (Artificial Intelligence) researcher, has also objected to the citizenship of ‘Sophia.’ It has been indicated that the citizenship given to ‘Robot Sophia’, is a stumbling block to the original identity, legal rights and social rights related to the human community. In Saudi, while answering to one of the questions, ‘Sophia’ mocked that the interviewer had been reading too much of Elon Musk. Elon Musk responded via twitter, “Just feed it ‘The Godfather’ movies as input. What’s the worst that could happen?” Musk rebuked Robot Sophia’ and her creators.   

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