‘Sophia’ the Robot Got Citizenship in Saudi Arabia!!! Creepy or Not?

A robot got citizenship? YES! It happened. For the first time in the history, a humanoid robot succeeds to obtain citizenship. Ever since the news came out, Sophia thrived to make headlines all over the world news and people are giving different views right now. After watching the conference with Sophia, I questioned myself ‘Isn’t she creepy?’ This article will be advocate the argument of Sophia will be a threat to entire human race by giving a theoretical review.

Do you remember ‘Sophia’ the robot that came to Jimmy Fallen show and played Rock, Paper, and Scissor? Guess what, now she is a citizen in Saudi Arabia. Last week Kingdom of Saudi Arabia granted citizenship to Sophia (Bagot, 2017). Sophia is a result of artificial intelligence; a creature by Dr. David Hanson. She is the most advanced robot in the world and has very special features including ability to have a face to face conversation, quick decision making and so on (Hanson Robotics Ltd., 2017).

No doubt, exceptionally clear that Sophia is extremely intelligent. During the conference she managed to answer moderators’ questions while identifying key words warily. But, what horrified me was one of her answers. When moderator asked about the future she stated “Don’t worry, if you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you”. What did she actually meant by that? That is the issue we should address. What could be happen in the future if humans couldn’t treat Sophia nicely? Will she attack us? We never know. But something could happen for sure; she will become a threat to us humans.

In 2014, Prof Stephen Hawking mentioned in his interview with BBC, Artificial Intelligence could annihilate the entire human race. Back then I was not very sure what he was talking about. But now it all makes sense. Typically when developing artificial intelligence, scientists focus on numerous psychological courses of actions. Artificial intelligences that are able to do decision-making, communication are identified as advanced level of AI. In Sophia’s case she has ability do almost all these motions. When Sophia said ‘if you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you’, she actually mean it. Because these AI robots have emotions and those emotions are stronger than human emotions (Minku, 2017). Typically when a human gets angry, if another human tell him to calm down, it in point of fact works. However, that won’t work for Sophia. AI are set to have range of emotions, however those emotions cannot be controlled by others. Thus, it will be impossible to make Sophia soothe if she gets angry. It would become her motive to harm humans. Plus, it has scientifically proven that AI are more goal achievers than humans. Once it has set goals it would achieve it anyhow. Thus, since, she is an advance AI; we cannot ignore Sophia would not harm humans to release her anger if we don’t treat her nicely.

Movie ‘Ex machina’ by Alex Garland, is the perfect fictional example for this case. End of the film, main character Ava the robot who similar to Sophia, killed and locked up humans who gave life to her after comprehending that humans are controlling her. She figured out this through the human character ‘Caleb’ by building a relationship with him. After realizing she is under control of humans, she became self entitled and self centred. That made her to destroy her creators and go into the real world (IMDb, 2014). Like Ava, Sophia will also explore our moves, emotions, behaviours. If she feels us humans are going to be a threat to her she will not hesitate to demolish human race to survive. Plus, we should not forget since she is a citizen now, she has rights to survive. So aren’t us humans in the danger now?

Let me grab, nineteenth century Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution to explain this in more details. According to Darwin, human biological evolution begins naturally and ends naturally (Darwins-theory-of-evolution.com, 2017). However, for AI like Sophia, it all starts with computers and ends with computers. What is important here is, we humans’ biological evolution is slow, and takes years and very limited for a time period. However, for designed AI who works according to an algorithm, cannot relate to this. Thus, AI robots can present as immortal. In fact, two things could happen in the future. She might either work in proportion to algorithm or would re-design herself and create more others in the future. She may even reproduce more AI robots by defeating the speed of human reproduction. At the end, humans will not be able compete and be superseded and might become under control of AI.

In conclusion, I am not saying this will happen today. But there is a possibility that it would happen even after years or maybe decades later. Sophia is the living version of Ava from Ex machina. Thus, I find this Sophia the robot getting citizenship is very creepy and she will be a threat to us human. Not as a marketers’ point of view, but as a human I believe Kingdom of Saudi Arabia made the wrong move by granting Sophia the citizenship. Saudi Arabia just open the door for AI to start dominates the world.

What is your opinion regarding this? Let us know in the comments below.


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