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On October 26, Saudi Arabia made history by becoming the first country in the world to grant citizenship to a non-human. The stunning announcement came shortly after Sophia, a humanoid robot, had completed a live interview at the Future Investment Initiative held in the capital city of Riyadh from October 24 to 26. The three-day summit was organized by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia to connect the world’s most powerful investors, thought leaders, and public officials to future innovations.
The Audrey Hepburn look-alike android graciously accepted the recognition 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.” Though details on what the citizenship will mean for Sophia are sparse, the news did make headlines around the world.
This is not the first time Sophia has been in the news in the past few months. The android, hailed by its creators Hanson Robotics as “the most beautiful and celebrated robot,” has been making her rounds around the world with guest appearances on several television shows, including The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon and Good Morning Britain. While it may seem that way, Sophia and her future robot kin are not destined for Hollywood. Rather they are being trained to help seniors in elderly care facilities and to assist visitors at parks and events.
Resources: Hanson Robotics, Techchrunch.com