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Outrage over Saudi Arabia granting citizenship to a robot

Written by FDM

On Wednesday, October 25, Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh saw an exceptional event. A humanoid robot dubbed “Sophia” was granted Saudi citizenship, making Saudi Arabia the first country to grant citizenship to a robot.

“Sophia” is a robot who speaks, makes jokes and even has very life-like  human facial expressions. But it is also the first robot to boast a citizenship, since “Sophia” was declared a Saudi citizen at the Future Investment Conference, in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

“Thank you to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the robot, designed by Hanson Robotics, told the crowd.

An event that has fuelled outrage on social media, over the unequal treatment of women in the Arab nation. The anger was directed to the government for awarding citizenship to a ‘female’ robot when women are still denied basic liberties in the Gulf nation.

The robot already displayed more freedom than afforded to millions of women in Saudi Arabia when it appeared on stage without wearing a full-length black abaya, which is intended to protect women’s modesty in public.