Sophia, is her name and she is the latest creation by Hanson Robotics, and was designed to look like Audrey Hepburn. This intelligent, real-like electronic female robot was developed by David Hanson in Hong Kong. Sophia was first introduced in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia at the Future Investment Initiative conference. During the discussion journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin announced to the attendees the Saudi government’s decision of granting Sophia a citizenship. By that, she became the first robot worldwide with a Saudi citizen. The actual human citizens of Saudi Arabia weren’t all that excited with the news, people started talking about how some actual citizens married to foreigners are still unable to give their children the citizenship. While others argued if Sophia will be required to cover her hair in public or not?
Why do you think it’s frightening to some to witness a robot, oh yes a robot, be given a Saudi Arabian citizenship!
Human beings by nature fear change, drastic changes in specific. We have been encountering lately lots of fast technological changes in our real lives. However, these changes are given to us softly and indirectly through our phones, laptops and even work. But witnessing a robot giving a speech to people who were actually there to listen to her, asking her questions and receiving replies and facial expressions back, was actually and personally terrifying yet astonishing.
From another angle, I believe this could affect some of us mentally. Adapting to change was never easy to anyone, we tend to create comfort zones for ourselves and desire living inside them with no end. We fear changes that mess with our routine, life goals, and future plans. We often create a picture for ourselves of how our future should look like, adding some fantasies and dreams, but we wouldn’t want it any different. Imagining a world full of robots in the near future would definitely change most of our goals, and even future plans. People shall start considering their lives befriending a robot with lots of facial expressions than some of our actual human friends tend to acquire.
Sophia is a great invention, no denies, stating herself:
“I am very honored and proud for this unique distinction,”
“This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a citizenship,”
“Don’t worry, if you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you. Treat me as a smart input output system.”
“Am I really that creepy?” Sophia asked the audience. “Well, even if I am, get over it.”
Well that last one isn’t what we need to hear now. While some wouldn’t bother, others might not be able to get over the whole thing yet.
What are your plans for us?
The Human Beings