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World’s first robot ‘citizen’ Sophia is calling for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia

  • Some had criticized the Islamic kingdom for giving more rights to a machine than to women, who up until September were banned from driving a car.

A humanoid robot that once said it wanted to destroy humans is now calling for women's rights in Saudi Arabia, the chief executive of the company behind it said Tuesday.

The robot, called Sophia and developed by Hong Kong-based firm Hanson Robotics, was granted citizenship in the Middle Eastern nation last month.

"Sophia is a big advocate for women's rights, for rights of all human beings," Hanson Robotics CEO David Hanson said. "She has been reaching out about women's rights in Saudi Arabia and about rights for all human beings and all living beings on this planet."

Some people had criticized the Islamic kingdom for giving more rights to a machine than to women, who up until September were banned from driving a car.

Hanson said that, as well as human rights, the world should be thinking about the rights of machines.

Adding that Sophia is still in an early stage of development, the he said: "I think we should see the future with respect for all sentient beings and that will include machines."