18:13 GMT +321 September 2019
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    Chief scientist of Hanson Robotics, Ben Goertzel (R), describes to the audience what Sophia the Robot (L) is made of during a discussion about the future of humanity in a demonstration of artificial intelligence (AI) by Hanson Robotics at the RISE Technology Conference in Hong Kong on July 12, 2017

    Saudi Arabia First to Grant Citizenship to a Robot (VIDEO)

    © AFP 2019 / ISAAC LAWRENCE
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    One small step for an android, one giant leap for humanoid "civilization"! American actress Audrey Hepburn's mechanical look-alike has just obtained civic rights in the Kingdom.

    The artificially intelligent machine, named Sophia, moderated a session at the Future Investment Initiative conference this week in Riyadh, when it got an unexpected proposal. The western-like robotic female appeared on stage without a full-length black abaya, the compulsory covering that Saudi women must wear in everyday life.

    "I am very honored and proud for this unique distinction,” Sophia, created by Hong Kong company Hanson Robotics, replied onstage. “It is historic to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with citizenship."

    ​"It is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with citizenship." Please welcome the newest Saudi: Sophia. #FII2017 pic.twitter.com/bsv5LmKwlf

    ​​Interestingly enough, when Sophia was first presented by her developers last year, David Hanson, the designer, inquired if his creation wanted to destroy humans. Much to his dismay, Sophia replied positively "OK, I will destroy humans."  We have been warned!

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    Android, robot, citizenship, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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