This is an Open Thread / Coffee Hour and all topics of conversation are welcome. For today's suggested topic lets consider Sophia, a social humanoid robot and her Saudi Arabia citizenship.
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Sophia is a social humanoid robot developed by the Hong Kong-based company Hanson Robotics. Sophia was activated on February 14, 2016, and made its first public appearance in mid-March 2016 at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, United States. Sophia is marketed as a "social robot" that can mimic social behavior and induce feelings of love in humans
From Wikipedia: Sophia (robot)
It is my personal opinion that at this time artificial intelligence robots or AI robots should not be given citizenship. I realize this was a publicity stunt done by Saudi Arabia and Hanson Robotics, but it exposes Saudi Arabia as being a money driven patriarchal society. Please vote in the poll and jump the fold for a links to a recent video interview of Sophia.
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In October 2017 Sophia was granted Saudi Arabian citizenship and this was just before the AI revolution started with the “Attention is all you need” paper. This is the prototype for a robot body that the current AI systems could use to give them mobility. The 2017 Sophia was programed mostly using old computer logic systems and primitive neural nets.
Saudi Arabia’s newest citizen has sparkling eyes, raspberry lips, and no hair. She has appeared on the cover of a fashion magazine. She once beat Jimmy Fallon at a game of rock-paper-scissors. Saudi Arabia’s newest citizen is a robot named Sophia—and as Cleve R. Wooston Jr. of the Washington Post reports, many people have pointed out that she already has more rights than human women who live in the country.
From Smithsonian Magazine: Why Saudi Arabia Giving a Robot Citizenship Is Firing People Up
Currently Sophia’s AI brain is being hosted in the cloud and can be accessed by as many clones as Hanson Robotics can sell. These clones of Sophia are planed to be marketed to a variety users as Mr. Hanson explains below.
Hanson has said that he designed Sophia to be a suitable companion for the elderly at nursing homes, to help crowds at large events or parks, or to serve in customer service, therapy, and educational applications, and that he hopes that the robot can ultimately interact with other humans sufficiently to gain social skills.
From Wikipedia: Sophia (robot)
Below is a current video of Sophia being interviewed by an Al jazeera staff member.
So what are your thoughts about robots having citizenship? I say no.