A robot has just been granted citizenship -- by Saudi Arabia.
The robot named Sophia was confirmed as a Saudi citizen during a business event in Riyadh.
The move is an attempt to promote Saudi Arabia as a place to develop artificial intelligence -- and, presumably, allow it to become a full citizen.
Sophia is a social humanoid robot developed by Hong Kong-based company Hanson Robotics. Sophia was activated on February 14, 2016 and made her first public appearance at South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) in mid-March 2016 in Austin, Texas, United States. It is able to display more than 50 facial expressions.
Sophia uses artificial intelligence, visual data processing and facial recognition.
Sophia also imitates human gestures and facial expressions and is able to answer certain questions and to make simple conversations on predefined topics (e.g. on the weather).
Sophia uses voice recognition(speech-to-text) technology from Alphabet Inc. (parent company of Google) and is designed to get smarter over time.
Sophia's intelligence software is designed by Hanson Robotics.
The AI program analyses conversations and extracts data that allows her to improve responses in the future.
Sophia would ultimately be a good fit to serve in healthcare, customer service, therapy and education in future.