Saturday, October 28, 2017

A robot granted Saudi citizenship...

by Salman Hameed

A robot named Sophia has been granted a Saudi Arabian citizenship. I don't know if they ask the robot first or not. This would be interesting if I thought it was more than just a gimmick. And of course it becomes a bit sad when considering the fact that Saudi citizenship, up until recently, was almost impossible to get for workers from South Asia (i think there is now a 10-year path). And of course, the fact that Sophia is a female robot has generated the requisite social media reaction: Why isn't she wearing an Abaya? Where is her robot male guardian, etc? But ultimately, it is a way of getting publicity and sounding "modern" - which may be enough to divert some attention away from other Saudi issues like the atrocious war on Yemen, rights of women, boycott of Qatar, etc.

In any case, here is Sophia (she is supposed to be in the image of Audrey Hepburn...): 

Now on the other hand, it will be cool if Sophia turns out to be like the protagonist in Ex Machina


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