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Saudi Arabia becomes first country to grant citizenship to a robot
(10-29-2017, 09:48 AM)Dfleymmes1134 Wrote:

this sums up my thoughts on the matter

"Was the whole thing a depressingly empty, unironic attempt at publicity for Sophia’s human captors? Almost certainly yes, but only time will tell about how international law will handle the advent of AI-powered populations, a future that seems more certain to arrive with each passing day."

I'm quite skeptical of this whole story and this quote is a good summary of why. If you search for the story you'll find dozens of western news sources and blogs talking about it but like a lot of modern news most are carbon copy stories of each other (because no one can afford to not have the latest hot news even if they've done no research or verification themselves). But there's nothing on sites like Al Jazeera or Arab News (nothing on the website of the company that made the robot either). The website of the organisers lists no such thing (the only listing they have for the robot is on the list of speakers). The twitter account for the Future Investment Initiative did retweet an independent article about Sophia but that's it.

There's also a typically vacuous level of real information in the dozens of news articles running this story. Which body or official approved the citizenship? Where are the papers for it? Where is absolutely any evidence beyond the robot claiming it on stage that this is nothing more than a publicity stunt? This all looks like a complete storm in a teacup and it's depressing how normal it is for modern "news" to contain more quotes of random people on twitter than actual facts.

Having said all that if it is true and some member of the Saudi Government pushed through citizenship for a non-human entity I'd wonder what the motive of that was. Beyond setting itself up as a future robotic haven in order to massively boost it's economy in event of a hypothetical robot slave uprising...seems little more than PR. And people blowing their mind about a robot being given citizenship should look into how corporations are viewed by the law. They are legal persons in many senses, hell in the US the concept of Corporate Citizenship exists and was clarified by the supreme court in 2010 (though admittedly it's more of a legal abstraction than a proper document). Still though the idea of a robot citizenship as a precedent is interesting, would certainly help any future robotic civil rights movements (should one ever exist in a recognisable way) rather than the usual SF cludge fix of having a robot be the sole share holder of a holding company that solely owns another company whose only asset is the robot.
OA Wish list:
  1. DNI
  2. Internal medical system
  3. A dormbot, because domestic chores suck!

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RE: Saudi Arabia becomes first country to grant citizenship to a robot - by Rynn - 10-29-2017, 10:43 PM

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