Blog: In the world's first, Robot granted citizenship


In the world's first, Robot granted citizenship

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has granted citizenship to a robot by the name of Sophia. Will this set the tone for human-robot relationship in the future?
In the world's first, Robot granted citizenship

In a major event that has created history, especially in the context of the eventual history of mankind and futuristic robots, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has granted citizenship to a robot by the name of ‘Sophia’. 

Apart from the controversy that this gesture has already generated, considering that Saudi Arabia has never granted citizenship to any of the immigrants who have been working in the kingdom, and many of them for many years. Or the fact, that Saudi women and their children are denied citizenship if they marry foreign men. For many, this move definitely comes as a surprise.

Is this the stepping stone towards human-robot relationships?

However, with all the present controversies regarding it, history has been made but it also raises many questions. For starters, what would be the status of the robots in the future? Will nations follow the present example of granting robots citizenship rights as well? And how would the humans respond to this?

Since the evolution of mankind, humans have been quite speciesist, and many argue that has ensured the survival of the humans on earth. But would this attitude continue when we have machines which would eventually be just as intelligent as humans in the future? And would the future generations castigate the current generation for taking foolhardy decisions, or would they applaud us for setting the tone of human-robot relations in the future?

Visionaries like Elon Musk have raised concerns about artificial intelligence posing an existential threat to the future of mankind, or for that matter of Vladimir Putin talking about the third world would be fought among the nations who would dominate AI. With latter seemingly, but not necessarily, being much more nearer than the latter, the question still remains if the organizations and the world has a whole are ready for a world where the robots will co-exist with their human counterpart.

Will humans be comfortable working with robots?

In a recent study, the experts in artificial intelligence have predicted that employees will be comfortable working with robots amongst their midst. Keeping this in mind, should governments around the world start creating policies with regards to the status of artificial intelligence on the planet Earth. However, considering that most regions of the planet are governed by autonomous political bodies, and the stages of development in AI technology considerably differing, how would the world form a consensus with this regard?

In the future, what would be most interesting is the policies that the different nations will eventually create for the peaceful co-existence with robots. And though this reality might not become true for the next hundred years probably, the question remains and has also been stated by Elon Musk is that probably, the human world should start with creating regulations which would determine the development of ‘safe artificial intelligence’.

Also, in an interesting turn of events, the robot ‘Sophia’ was allowed to be interviewed by reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin by its makers ‘Hanson Robotics’. When Sorkin asked the AI robot about its goals, it took a dig at Elon Musk, citing that the reporter had been reading too much from Elon Musk to be stating, ‘We all believe you but we want to prevent a bad future.’

Sophia had previously stated, “My AI is designed around human values like wisdom, kindness, compassion, I strive to become an emphatic robot (sic)”.

For the future of the humans, hopefully, the above stays true for all the futuristic inventions of mankind, and not just artificially intelligent robots.

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Topics: Technology

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