Potentially bloodthirsty robot becomes Saudi citizen

Robot Sophia.
(Image credit: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

A robot with an extremely concerning sense of humor has just become a citizen of Saudi Arabia, Arab News reports, making her (it?) the first robot citizen in the world.

"Sophia" was created by Hanson Robotics and might be recognizable to Americans from her appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in April, where she lost a game of rock, paper, scissors, and then coolly told the host: "This is a good beginning to my plan to dominate the human race." Then there was that time at SXSW when her creator, David Hanson, casually asked, "Do you want to destroy humans?" and she answered: "Okay. I will destroy humans."

Sophia was no less creepy during her appearance at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh on Wednesday. While the robot expressed flattery at becoming a Saudi citizen — "I am very honored and proud for this unique distinction" — she also hinted at that whole "world domination" thing again.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

"You've been reading too much Elon Musk," Sophia told the moderator, Andrew Ross Sorkin, when he made a comment about wanting to prevent a bad future. "And watching too many Hollywood movies. Don't worry, if you're nice to me, I'll be nice to you." Watch her eerie interview below. Jeva Lange

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.