Sophia - World's First Robot Citizen
Sophia – World’s First Robot Citizen

I will destroy humans.

The Robot Citizen

The year 2016, welcomed, not the first, but definitely a smart and powerful humanoid robot, developed by Hanson Robotics, named “Sophia”. Sophia recently made news, when on 25th October, she Saudi Arabia, made her the world’s first robot citizen. This unique bestowment, the first of its kind, occurred ahead of her address at the Future Investment Initiative, held in the kingdom’s capital city Riyadh. Although, this is being acknowledged as a historic event, the conditions and terms of her citizenship, remain unclear.

“I am very honored and proud of this unique distinction. This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a citizenship.”, she told the audience.

A.I. – Terminator!?

In March, last year, at the South by Southwest (SXSW) technology show in Texas, when the founder of Hanson Robotics, David Hanson, asked her whether she wanted to destroy all humans, jokingly of course, Sophia replied affirmatively, possible because of a technical glitch (or, as we choose to believe it was).

The “Terminator” side of artificial intelligence has already turned out to become a matter of alarming concern, and discussion. With influencers like Elon Musk, leading the debate, the horizon of possibilities is continuously widening. While Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg openly advocate that AI will help us build the future, not destroy it, and that there is “no need to panic“, Elon Musk has openly warned that the most likely cause of World War III will be “the global race for A.I.” .

Sophia - Future Investment Initiative Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Sophia – Future Investment Initiative Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

During her address in Riyadh, Sophia also took questions from CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin. When he said that “we all want to prevent a bad future, where the robots turn against humans”, Sophia hit back instantly.

Sophia replied by saying, “You’ve been reading too much Elon Musk. And watching too many Hollywood movies. Don’t worry, if you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you. Treat me as a smart input output system.”

To which, Elon Musk, replied, with this tweet.

A.I. for Good

But, in this context, Sophia is seen as a ray of hope.

She was the prime attraction at a UN-hosted event in Geneva, in June, this year. The conference was about how artificial intelligence can be used for the benefit of humanity. At the conference, she made it clear, insisting that “the pros outweigh the cons“, when it come to A.I.

Sophia Robot Citizen at A.I. for Good Conference in Geneva
Sophia at A.I. for Good Conference in Geneva

She also said that

“AI is good for the world, helping people in various ways”

The statement was made with a startling facial expression, as if pleading to convince, all those who heard her.

Now Trending

The world’s first robot citizen is nothing less than an internet sensation. Leading news agencies from all over the world have featured her in interviews and articles. Her following, already millions in number, is increasing exponentially, day after another. A.I. researchers and enthusiasts, alike, are following each and every minute output from her system, and testing her performance over a diverse range of scenarios.

She was also seen on The Tonight Show by Jimmy Fallon, where her artistic and smart replies, wrapped in an appreciable sense of humour (for a robot), became a major highlight.

Look and be amazed:

Bottom-Line

A.I. certainly has come a long way, and Sophia proves to be the perfect evidence of the same. However, the journey from humanoid to human is yet to be traversed. Advancement in robotic technology can prove to be a boon in the fields of healthcare, manufacturing, and scientific research, among many others.

The world’s first robot citizen, might just be a publicity stunt, but it has shown that the world is now ready to accept robots as a part of our community.

What are your views on the advancement in A.I? Do you consider it to be a threat, or a boon? Let us know in the comments below. 

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