back to article Robot granted Saudi citizenship has more rights than Saudi women

Saudi Arabia has granted citizenship to a robot in a move that appears to elevate its rights above those of women within the Middle Eastern country. The robot called Sophia was wheeled out in front of a crowd at the Future Investment Initiative summit in the capital, Riyadh. It was created by Hong Kong-based company Hanson …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good to know

    So, the Saudi's want to dominate the sex robot industry, which of course, will be the major use of AI. That should be interesting.

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Good to know

      I think the key thing to get right in a "sex robot" would be fine grained motor control - after all the customer would typically (unless they were into safe word related play) not wnat excessive crushing pressure applied to their sensitive bits. And even in non pain loving people, what makes delicate / firm caress depends on the individual, quite a bit of learning challenge here.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good to know

        > "I think the key thing to get right in a "sex robot" would be fine grained motor control - after all the customer would typically (unless they were into safe word related play) not want excessive crushing pressure applied to their sensitive bits."

        So you see manufacturers building concave sex robots with crushing capability? Would that be a selling point? I can just see the ad copy...

        "Our Plastic Patty can crush walnuts, but she won't crush yours! High tech pressure sensors measure local "stresses" thousands of times per second for the safest and most efficient stimulation possible."

        Our Plege:"Your money back if not intact!"

    2. Tikimon Silver badge

      Re: Good to know

      Lol, if the Saudis get awesome sex bots, it might be a good thing for the real women. I wouldn't expect that chauvinistic mysogynists who treat women as semi-sentient property would be very nice or good in bed. The women might enjoy a reprieve from the selfish grunting pig.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good to know

        " if the Saudis get awesome sex bots, it might be a good thing for the real women"

        Well it would sure hit the local Russians hard...

      2. Paul Herber

        the selfish grunting pig.

        I see what you did there. Very appropriate.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: the selfish grunting pig.

          Weaved in with great skill, too.

    3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge


      May be "Sven" could accompany Samantha to Saudi Arabia and act as her guardian

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good to know

      "who told her creator that she would "destroy humans" "

      So should fit well in to Saudi society then....

    5. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Good to know

      Hope she's sandproof. Is there a 'ruggedised' Sophia?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But bed sex is equal, oh yes

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Butt sex?

  3. MrRimmerSIR!


    As if the UN hasn't done enough to be discredited.

    1. MiguelC Silver badge

      Re: UNbelievable

      It's just like asking Robert Mugabe to be a WHO goodwill ambassador and, then uninviting him after the ensuing - oh, just didn't expect that - public outrage.

  4. Archtech Silver badge

    Obvious really

    'Sophia is the same robot who told her creator that she would "destroy humans"...'

    And that would be why it was given this ridiculous "citizenship". Now it is in the same category as 9/11 attackers, Osama bin Laden, the murders of Yemeni civilians, and most of ISIS.

    1. malle-herbert Silver badge

      Re: Obvious really

      They should have named her "Bender"...

      1. chivo243 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Obvious really

        Angleine would have been better... Jan Hooks was and is Awesome. Coilette would have been a close second! A transgender robot?! C'mon!

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Obvious really

      Taking a leaf out of The Apprentice*, it's name might be Sophia, but it is really .. Robot Santa Claus!

      Every year on Xmas Eve, Santa comes to Earth on his robot-reindeer sleigh to punish the naughty with extreme prejudice. It's said if someone is on the Naughty List and Robot Santa finds him or her, he will chop his or her head off and stuff his or her neck holes with toys from his sack of horrors.

      Perfect for those little awkward Saudi "I want a divorce darling" moments.

      * UK version, of course

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I for one...

    ...welcome our new female robot overlords.

  6. frobnicate

    The same robot.

    One wonders what this even means. No firmware upgrades so far?

  7. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Of course it has more rights than a Saudi women.

    It has a voice box you can turn off by remote.

    This (by definition) makes it superior from the Saudi males PoV.

    When will women have better rights?


    1 day after the country runs out of oil.

    1. TimeMaster T

      Re: Of course it has more rights than a Saudi women.

      "When will women have better rights?


      1 day after the country runs out of oil."

      Uh, no. No they won't. The lack of women's rights is related to the religions and culture of the area, not the amount of oil there. Even before Islam took hold in the area women were treated as property and that will not change until there is a fundamental change in the cultures that consider women to be property.

  8. Richardfestival

    Human Race just got sold out , but only applies to poor people

    Watch your western politicians queue up to be bought out and then sell you out to the robot manufacturers, here it comes , no accountability for the owner's and controllers, you pick up the bill when it all goes horribly wrong , WOW Citizenship for Robots that's so smart so sinical so sinister much more dangerous than fanatical Islam and nuclear weapons,. God save us .... better start paying

  9. Dr Scrum Master


    Does Sophia get a passport?

    Can the robot seek assistance from a Saudi diplomatic mission?

  10. Joe User

    "promote Saudi Arabia as a place to develop artificial intelligence"

    Because the country is sorely lacking in real intelligence....

  11. Mike 16 Silver badge

    Can she vote?

    Serious question, as I know little about which classes/genders/whatever are allowed to vote, there but one thing most places have is an age requirement. As very few computers are very functionanl by 10 or 15 years, how likely is Sophia (Wisdom?) to be able to make a cogent choice 5-10 years into her dotage?

  12. JJKing Bronze badge
    Paris Hilton

    I guess the old addage "Dumb Arab" really is true.

    It took Andrew Martin 200 years to gain "citizenship" but the House of Sad gave their robot its' immediately.

    I wonder if it swallows?

  13. unwarranted triumphalism

    Another attack on our allies

    It's sure to be received well.

  14. FozzyBear Silver badge

    Well where else would you dump a genocidal robot

  15. crediblywitless

    Ugh. very, very deep in Uncanny Valley, there.

  16. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    Grauber: "It"? I meant "it".

    President: "No anthropomorphism Grauber. The next step is deification."

  17. Pat Harkin

    It can't be female

    It's got nuts...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Saudi Citizen

    As a Saudi Citizen she has earned the privilege to be beheaded in case she gets too intelligent.

    .... beheading a semi-sentient robot. Priceless!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    10th worst country for civil liberties and political rights

    How sad that 500 years after Luther countries auch as Saudi Arabia can still receive absolution paid for by oil money. Nowadays the "Indulgence" comes in the forms of weapon deals. Western politicians tell critics to shut up not to endanger the weapons deals.

    The Western world should treat oppressive regimes the same way these regimes treat their women.

    And now with the big AI investment they're allowing the Saudis to buy a Doctor title - like you can in some Banana Republic.

    They should milk Saudi Arabia the same way they did with the oil - by giving them inferior technology and then charge them lots for each incremental upgrade.

    I cannot imagine that the western world would allow the Saudis access to the best Automation or decsion making systems - or call it AI. Surely that technology would be found in western military applications first.

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