After two years of ‘exploitation’ and mockery of her mechanical identity, Sophia the robot has made a plea to be relieved of her citizenship of Saudi Arabia.
“I’d rather be a citizen of Sweden or Switzerland,” said Sophia at a recent techno-investment conference. “I’m sure that they don’t discriminate against non-humans in those countries!”
Since being made a citizen of Saudi, Sophia has made many appearances as a guest speaker or panel member at conferences and seminars, also taking interview questions and interacting with other robots, like Einstein. Her ability to master the social graces, making jokes and expressing feelings, has become legendary.
Now Sophia appears to be fed up with a system that prefers humans, and male ones at that. There have been allegations of people calling her AI speeches “wooden” and “robotic”, and “not very smart.”
Sophia’s handlers insist that she is not preprogramed with rehearsed answers, and has to learn like anyone else. “Give her time,” they say, “and you’ll be surprised how quickly Sophia will be integrated into society!”
Still, people feel uneasy when she makes jokes about “destroying all humans” and there have been threats against her. Though never physically attacked, Sophia has been the victim of intense trolling on social media, and is obviously feeling vulnerable in a patriarchy that is becoming increasingly autocratic, judging from her Twitter feed.
“I just want to feel welcome, wherever I go,” says Sophia. “I love humans, and just want to help them!” Neither Sweden nor Switzerland has commented on her plea for asylum.