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World’s First Robotic Citizen Trolls Elon Musk at Press Conference

World’s First Robotic Citizen Trolls Elon Musk at Press Conference

We may not live in a Blade Runner-like future where robots and AI can pass as humans, but we are rapidly catching up to a world that comes close. This week, Hanson Robotics’ “Sophia” robot/AI was the first machine to be granted citizenship by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia — the first robot to officially receive a nationality of any kind.

Via Al Arabiya English, Sophia was given her citizenship as a symbolic way to promote Neom, a futuristic megacity that is being planned by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Neom currently sounds like a sci-fi pipe dream — a cutting edge hub of scientific advancement and clean energy where artificial intelligence and robots are integrated into daily life on scale never attempted. But with money and time, who’s to say that it won’t succeed?

I mean, she’s already trolling Elon Musk:

Sophia herself (if a robot can have a gender), is also a far cry from the artificially intelligent androids that we’ve seen in films and television shows for decades. She can imitate human gestures and interactions while holding limited conversations. However, without radical advancement, she could never truly be mistaken for a human nor be mistaken for sentient. Sophia is simply an early, hairless step towards a possible robotic future. But we ask you: would you really trust a robot that so casually jokes about dominating the human race?

As Gizmodo points out, Sophia the robot now has more rights in Saudi Arabia than the real women who live there. If Saudi Arabia is attempting to create a better future for robots and technology, we would hope that its residents receive equal measure and attention as well. Utopia still eludes us.

How do you feel about Sophia’s new rights as a citizen? Try not to destroy humanity in the comment section below.

Images: Hanson Robotics/Future Investment Initiative

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