History has been created again, this time the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has granted citizenship rights to the first humanoid robot ‘Sophia’. The news has got a sparkle all over the world because the citizenship has been approved by the most conservative country. Sophia had given a speech at Saudi’s “Future Investment Initiative” in front of a large audience. Her final speech has created a ripple of controversies that said:

“You have been reading too much Elon musk and watching too many Hollywood movies”. Saudi Arabia is one among the prime oil-producing countries in the World. The recent initiative of Saudi’s diversification to the non-oil sector is planned to create more investment in technology and Kingdom is committed to building a new city powered by robotics and renewables. This may be one of the reasons for the citizenship granted to Sophia. Eventually, this decision has created the way for more controversies.

Saudi Arabia has rarely allowed PR (Permanent Residency) to foreign citizens. Foreigners who wish to apply for Saudi citizenship are supposed to know how to read, write and speak in Arabic. ‘Sophia’ who is created by Hanson Robotic, a Hong Kong-based company, speaks only in English has been granted citizenship. As a women humanoid robot, she was given a special right to address hundreds without wearing a veil which is a curtailed right for Saudi women. The woman in Saudi Arabia is forced to wear a “Hijab” which is a long black cloak covering the head in public.

Moreover, Sophia is a robot and definitely, it is a premature decision of Kingdom to grant a citizenship as it hampers social and ethical concerns for other citizens. In my perspective, I still believe that human beings are not yet ready to accept a robot as a citizen. Citizenship is a unique identity which consists of an image (face), iris and a fingerprint moreover it gives a person a right to be a part of the country’s culture. In a technological point of view, a robot is an electronic machine. Physically it looks like hardware and internally it is software. The language they speak and the cognitive processes are programmed by humans. Therefore it does not possess a unique identity.

The Kingdom has only thought of boosting its investment and developing to a technological economy. It has failed to think about the rights of its citizen (women) and migrant laborers which have now created more discrimination. #Sophia_call _for_dropping_guardianship a hashtag has now become virulent in social media platforms in mention to the law requiring Saudi women to be accompanied by a male guardian in public places. The recent lifting of the ban to allow the Saudi women to grant driving license has created a positive viewpoint for the kingdom.

Kingdom has to liberalize its human rights and give equal opportunities irrespective of gender on the basis of education, job, and values. Human Capital is essential for a country’s growth. Efficient and skilled manpower always attracts the investment to a country. It is essential that kingdom has to prioritize more on granting rights to humans than to a Robot. Because “without Human, No technology and Artificial Intelligence could be developed.”