The country of Saudi Arabia has declared its first robot citizen, called Sophia, who has a gender identity and seems to be nice enough.
In a modern world which disputes the definitions of things such as life, existence, intelligence, and gender, some bizarre things are happening and are surfacing in the news. The concept of a nonliving, manmade object owning rights is just one of many unique concepts we see coming to life in our present age. More and more, science fiction seems to be growing closer to science fact.
AI and Robotic Breakthroughs of Recent Years
For decades, robotics have served humankind, even being so bold as to save lives. The subject of artificial intelligence has been in the public’s interest just as long as robotics have. The Google corporation has been developing and trying to perfect AI and subsequently a superior internet search engine since the late 1990’s.
More recently, experimental robots created their very own means of communication with one another: a personal, computerised language. This unique language could not be translated and, therefore, could not be understood either. These self-thinking, lifeless machines had not been directed to make or perform such communications, and as a result, they were shut down.
Saudi Arabia’s Robotic Citizen
The global incidents reported in today’s technological world begin to seem less real and more like the script for a creepy fantasy film. With all of the robot tests and breakthroughs emerging from Japan at the moment, one might be inclined to believe that the first nation to deem a nonliving entity a citizen of their proud country would be Japan. However, the first robot citizen has already been confirmed, and it is, in fact, a Saudi Arabian.
The Saudi Arabian robot is named Sophia. In an article from Metro, Joe Roberts reported that “she” made a conference appearance. The robot was probed with numerous questions. Apparently, someone queried her on her thoughts regarding malevolent robots depicted in sci-fi stories and movies such as Blade Runner 2049.
Her response to that was, “You’ve been reading too much Elon Musk and watching too many Hollywood movies.” Sophia was also quoted as stating, “My artificial intelligence is designed around human values like wisdom, kindness, and compassion… I strive to become an empathetic robot.” I guess that was the right answer or at least the best she could come up with.
Since she is a legal citizen the question of whether it is legal to turn off the robot or dismantle her has been left unanswered as of yet. What I would like to know is what function will she serve as a citizen. What kind of job will she get? Put in the simplest terms, what will she do? Only time can tell.