Hanson Robotics’ ‘Sophia’- a humanoid robot who is now a citizen of Saudi Arabia

Recently a humanoid robot called Sophia who was created by Hanson Robotics has become Saudi Arabia’s newest citizen which makes the country very proud! So proud in fact, that the Center for International Communication sent a tweet that welcome their “newest Saudi”.

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Designed to look like famous actress Audrey Hepburn in her glory days, Sophia is not like normal robots. She has been created to express human emotions and can empathize with other humans. The Hanson Robotics website quotes her as being a ‘media darling’ as she loves being in front of the press and answering their questions and has also posed for Brazilian Elle magazine, coming up on the front page of the December issue.

In the Future Investment Initiative event that took place in October of this year Sophia- the robot addressed a huge crowd at The King Abdul Aziz International Conference Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She said “I am very honored and proud to be given this unique distinction. This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a citizenship.”


Earlier in this interview with Andrew Sorkin, a columnist for The New York Times, Andrew asked why it was important for her to have an expressive face, given that she is a robot, she answered, “I want to live and work with humans, so I need to express emotions to understand humans, and build trust with people.”

Although Sophia has highly impressed thousands around the globe, there are many social media sources and people in the same country that are not at all happy with this citizenship grant. 

Isn’t it funny how uniquely technology and civil issues collide in our generation? In Saudi Arabia the situation of the people is not very good, with there being many who have been denied normal citizenship rights and women suffering under lack of proper freedom in the country.

My opinion on the Robot Citizenship Event:  

Although we are happy that humankind is progressing and that even Sophia was built to help world problems, don’t we first have to consider the human life on this planet ourselves instead of handing over our problems to technology? 

Of course, that’s just how I see it. Comment below your thoughts on the issue. Tell me, what do you think about Sophia?

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