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Saudi Arabia Becomes First Nation To Grant Citizenship To Humanoid Robot (foxbusiness.com) 90

Saudi Arabia became the first country in the world to offer citizenship to a humanoid robot, but Brad Keywell, CEO of Uptake, a predictive analytics technology company, told FOX Business on Thursday artificial intelligence (AI) will not replace humans anytime soon. From a report: "Humans are made super-human through the intelligence that can be derived from these sensors and there is a clear argument that's made about the possibility that there will be no humans, there'd be just autonomous everything... but this is something that has historically involved humans and I just don't see that changing," he told Maria Bartiromo on "Mornings with Maria." Uptake's products are used in a collection of industries ranging from energy to aviation, helping "people and machines work better and faster," according to the company website.
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Saudi Arabia Becomes First Nation To Grant Citizenship To Humanoid Robot

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  • Ok (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 26, 2017 @12:26PM (#55438221)

    But only because it's a Sunni robot and not a Shi'ite one.
    Atheist, Christian or Apostate robots need not apply, ditto for female ones without being accompanied by their developer.
    Jewish ones will be thrown into the sea, so they'd better be waterproof.

    PS. Is it allowed to charge or get an oil change in the day during Ramadan for a robot citizen?

    • Re:Ok (Score:5, Informative)

      by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Thursday October 26, 2017 @12:41PM (#55438373)

      But only because it's a Sunni robot and not a Shi'ite one.

      TFA doesn't say. In fact, it only mentions Saudi Arabia in the first half of the first sentence, and then abruptly veers into a shameless promotion of "Uptake" with plenty of vacuous statements by its CEO, and never mentions Saudi Arabia again.

      Here is a link [independent.co.uk] with some actual information. Here is another [businessinsider.com].

      The robot's name is Sophia. Since she is female, presumably she won't be allowed to drive. But she is pictured without a veil.

    • But only because it's a Sunni robot

      So its solar powered?

  • Male Robot (Score:5, Funny)

    by UdoKeir ( 239957 ) on Thursday October 26, 2017 @12:27PM (#55438237)
    Presumably, it's a male robot and enjoys many rights not afforded to Saudi women.
    • by alexandre ( 53 ) *

      Even worst, it's an unveiled fembot which probably has other extra rights compared to its human counterpart.

      • by sycodon ( 149926 )

        If it's a Fembot, it has machine guns in its tits.

        This will be the next terrorist weapon!

        • That must be why they gave it rights - the "virtues" thugs who enforce the rules can't push around a robot with tit-guns. Not successfully or repeatedly anyhow.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Can it get a driver's license? Does it need to wear a hibab?

      Funny: captcha was "adultery"

      • "Can it get a driver's license? "

        Sure, any woman in Saudi Arabia can.
        You're a bit behind, not only on the news.

        • by sycodon ( 149926 )

          Not yet. that starts next year.

        • by Teun ( 17872 )
          That's the intention of (probably) the crown prince.

          The legal reality is more difficult, women cannot go out without a male guardian, they can't even decided to turn left or right without the male guardian's approval.
          And that's much harder to fix than to allow them a driving licence...
    • In their minds there must not be much of a difference between women and robots. Now that they actually allow women to drive, this probably seems like a logical next step.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Mike Morgan ( 9565 ) *
      Is the robot required to be Muslim? AFAIK non-Muslims are not allowed to hold Saudi citizenship.
  • "Historically?" What a moron.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Our "AI" isn't even at the intelligence of a clever mouse yet.

  • by angel'o'sphere ( 80593 ) on Thursday October 26, 2017 @12:33PM (#55438295) Journal

    The subject says it. Perhaps those should get citizenship first? Or proper treatment and rights?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Slaves don't get to become citizens.

  • by Daetrin ( 576516 ) on Thursday October 26, 2017 @12:37PM (#55438341)
    If i'd looked at the URL first i wouldn't have been expecting much from a FOX article, but it failed even to meet those low standards. It says nothing at all about the robot and consists almost entirely of Kaywell's semi-coherent musings on the topic.

    A quick search resulted in this article from Bloomberg. [bloomberg.com] Which at least explains what they're talking about, though still not in very great detail.

    As expected it's a PR stunt, relating to the "robot city" they're planning to build.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Saudi Arabia can finally be a democracy! Where all the robots vote for the current monarch.

  • In a country with an absolutist rule, what does "citizenship" grant you? If the prize is so little, even robots are entitled to it.

  • "Citizen"... for some value of "citizen." I don't think they've thought this through.

  • Or at least it will be able to vote for King when the rest of the citizens can as well.

  • Now the question is, if they allow the robot to drive cars?
  • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Thursday October 26, 2017 @12:52PM (#55438455)

    Even if you believe that we'll one day have strong AI that is intelligent in every way that we think of ourselves as being intelligent, we can all agree that we're not there yet. We're nowhere close, in fact.

    So if you've just conferred human rights to an object, how long until we see people protesting with signs that read "Software updates are murder"? After all, you'd effectively be destroying the very essence of one of your citizens if you replace the thing that makes them intelligent—their software—with something else. And if they do it voluntarily, do we call it suicide? Are we allowed to reuse their robotic chassis if they don't sign off as an organ donor? Can we sell their body parts, or is that illegal? Are minor software updates okay, in the same way that we're okay with prosthetics? At what point does this a ship of Theseus [wikipedia.org] situation, where it's still them, even though nothing is still the same?

    Perhaps a more pragmatic question: can it vote? If so, and if updating their software isn't disallowed, what's to stop me from making millions of them and programming them all to vote according to my wishes?

    • by hackel ( 10452 )

      Sadly this is to be expected in an age where "corporations are people." It has nothing to do with actual AI, but rather some business advantage.

      • "Age"? You say that like it's a new idea and not as old as corporations! In fact it's a necessity. Incorporated entities couldn't carry out their functions without it. And it's not just businesses that are incorporated and require that legal treatment to function. Churches, municipalities (towns, cities, villages...), unions, political activist groups, and many other types of organizations incorporate. The United States literally would not exist without corporations as the colonial charters that defin
    • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Thursday October 26, 2017 @01:12PM (#55438601) Journal

      "Software updates are murder"

      Software updates murdered my old iPhone, so I can understand this.

  • Since it now has to pay taxes, does it get health care and a retirement plan?
  • by Elixon ( 832904 ) on Thursday October 26, 2017 @12:58PM (#55438511) Homepage Journal

    Is it a new trick how to program new citizens to ensure that totalitarian dynasty will never be ousted?

    You know... it is so easy to clone new citizens by just one key press in case the real ones decide to vote for somebody else...

  • by hackel ( 10452 ) on Thursday October 26, 2017 @12:59PM (#55438515) Journal

    I don't give a shit about Brad Keywell. I want to learn about this robot. They don't say a thing about it. Not who developed it, what it does. What kind of salary it is going to be paid, how taxes are going to be collected on it, it's work hours, overtime, maintenance insurance, or any of the other things that go along with being a fully-fledged citizen.

    Does anyone have a better source for this?

    • Just looking at it I'd say it's going to be some kind of customer service kiosk, with probably just a mount post from the waist down. Hook it up to a company directory and a speech recognition / synthesis routine and have a novelty in the company lobby.

      Walking/navigation and power aren't solved issues for humanoid robots operating in areas with heavy human traffic... and you don't bother with a humanoid robot unless you want to interact with humans or use the same equipment that was made for them (the latt

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Not alive, not self-aware, not conscious, not cognitive, IT IS A MACHINE, and this is STUPID.
  • All robots are female

  • Come on... Where was Japan. I figured they already given robots citizen ship.... 2nd Generation immigrants, No. Robots, yes.
    • Come on... Where was Japan. I figured they already given robots citizen ship.... 2nd Generation immigrants, No. Robots, yes.

      In the USA they almost voted for a robot for president. It narrowly lost and they got a moron instead.

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Thursday October 26, 2017 @01:34PM (#55438757) Homepage Journal

    This is an absolute monarchy after all, so it's really more a claim of authority over than a grant of rights to.

    The only constitutional limitation of the Saudi monarchy is compliance with Sharia, the Quran and Sunnah. Insofar as these documents do not grant rights to machines of any sort, granting "citizenship" to a robot is effectively meaningless.

  • by lbmouse ( 473316 ) on Thursday October 26, 2017 @01:47PM (#55438857) Homepage
    ...and now they won't need to.
  • Fry: So let me get this straight. This planet is completely uninhabited?
    Bender: No, it's inhabited by robots.
    Fry: Oh, kinda like how a warehouse is inhabited by boxes?

  • by RightwingNutjob ( 1302813 ) on Thursday October 26, 2017 @02:06PM (#55439023)
    I'd like to think this is part of a clever American plan for world domination by convincing the rest of the planet that force fields and intelligent robots and starships are real through decades of pushing science fiction and fantasy movies, books, and television shows, thereby turning the rest of the planet into gullible saps. I really would like to think that. Unfortunately, it seems some of us are starting to believe our own propaganda here, so I'm not sure.
  • At some point it will be able to replicate the intelgence of a flea, then a frog, then a dog, then a 3 year old baby, then a 10 year old, then a high school student, then a college grad, then a PhD. Eventually it will be Einstein like in intelligence.

    Some scary things:
    1) Eventually it will evolve to be able to create new AIs on it's own. And this will probably occur at an exponential rate.
    2) The scary thing is what happens when it is 10x smarter than Einstien. Or 100x?

    I read interesting theories that an

  • TFA has no detail at all explaining the headline. There's not even any stated connection between the headline and the interviewee Brad Keywell and Saudi Arabian law. AFAICT, the purpose of the piece is to promote him and his company with a clickbait headline.

  • ... by clicking on this article.

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