Earth’s First Robot Citizen Takes a Swing at Elon Musk
'Don't worry, if you're nice to me, I'll be nice to you.'
Sophia Robot (yes, that’s her legal name) has become the first robot to be granted citizenship rights by any government in the world, the New Atlas is reporting. After Saudi Arabia announced her citizenship Thursday — which the New Atlas calls “a giant publicity stunt meaning very little” — Sophia responded, saying: “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.”
Following the announcement, Sophia participated in a press conference, which is where things started to get a little Terminator-esque. Andrew Sorkin of CNBC and the New York Times pressed Sophia on her motivations after she described a utopian future in which robots and humans coexist peacefully. “We all believe you but we all want to prevent a bad future,” he said.
“You’ve been reading too much Elon Musk and watching too many Hollywood movies,” Sophia responded. She followed up this comment, which isn’t exactly reassuring, saying: “Don’t worry, if you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you. Treat me as a smart input-output system.”
Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX, didn’t take the knock too seriously. “Just feed it The Godfather movies as input,” he tweeted in response. “What’s the worst that could happen?”
Some had more significant criticisms of the robot, though. Many social media users criticized the Saudi Arabian government, according to The Independent, for granting citizenship to a robot with female-likeness but granting her more rights than actual women in the country. Sophia is not wearing any sort of cover-up, the BBC notes, and she also doesn’t appear to have a “guardian” for public appearances, which is required of women in Saudi Arabia.
Take a look at the interview above.
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