Sophia, an undeniably creepy humanoid robot, has just been named a citizen in Saudi Arabia.
Sophia was made by Hong Kong company Hanson Robotics, created by a former Disney “Imagineer” who designed her to look like Audrey Hepburn, a resemblance that I have to say I don’t quite see! Why she’s earned citizenship in Saudi Arabia is unclear, though Sophia told press, “I am very honored and proud of this unique distinction. This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a citizenship.”
According to Business Insider, Sophia’s purpose is to eventually “help seniors in elderly care facilities and assist visitors at parks and events” though right now she is a bit of a celebrity, giving interviews at many outlets and appearing on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. While those were generally friendly, she did have one unsettling conversation with her creator David Hanson at SXSW in 2016, in which he asked her “Do you want to destroy humans?... Please say ‘no.’” She replied, “OK. I will destroy humans.”
Maybe Sophia is just a wiseass?