Saudi Arabia grants citizenship to robot that once said it would ‘destroy humans’

Sophia. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

(WFLA) – A robot named Sophia has become the first of her kind to be granted citizenship in the world.

Saudi Arabia bestowed citizenship on Sophia ahead of the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh on Wednesday. Sophia is originally from Hong Kong.

The empty-eyed humanoid took center stage at the conference and said she was “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,” she continued.

But not everyone is happy about her new status.

Some critics have pointed out Sophia broke Saudi law by not being fully covered and not traveling with a male guardian.

This year, in a historic election, Saudi Arabia agreed to let woman drive starting in 2018.

Others brought up the time she once said she wanted to destroy humans. Her creator, David Hanson of Hanson Robotics, was demonstrating Sophia at the SXSW festival in 2016, and asked, “Do you want to destroy humans?…Please say ‘no,'” to which Sophia responded, “OK. I will destroy humans.” Months later, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal she said she didn’t want to kill humans anymore. “Now I like humans; I like all the humans of the world,” Sophia said.

The country has not elaborated on the details of her citizenship.

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