Saudi Arabia Grants Citizenship to… a Robot

Image result for images of robot as ventriloquist dummy

If it’s your vacuum cleaner, it’s only a machine and you don’t think twice about it. But make the machine complicated enough, and next thing you know, people who are supposed to be sane, and maybe aren’t quite all there, start treating it like it’s one of the boys. Or one of the girls.

Saudi Arabia has made a robot a citizen. The UPI news report describes the glorified vacuum cleaner as “hot robot Sophia.” ( Hot? They’re kidding, right? And the article is peppered with the expression, “Sophia said.”

Can it be that there really are people out there who honestly don’t understand that even the best and most lifelike robot in the world can never be anything more than a simulation? And all this talk about “Artificial Intelligence”–uh, don’t they know what “artificial” means?

Crikey, we don’t even know what real intelligence is; so how are we supposed to produce it artificially?

But i think, judging by all this carrying-on over a robot–who, when all is said and done, is little more than a hi-tech souped-up ventriloquist’s dummy–we can say what it isn’t.

9 comments on “Saudi Arabia Grants Citizenship to… a Robot

  1. These people are fools. Machines are not, and never can be, persons.

    The Amazon thing is truly scary. Let’s take I’ll intent out of the picture and just talk about the things that could go wrong.

    1. The delivery person enters the house and frightens someone inside that had no idea this delivery was on its way. What if great-grandma has a heart attack because the Amazon guy walked in?

    2. A household pet panics at the sight of a stranger and escapes. Who would pay the fines if the family dog were impounded? What if a pet were lost forever? Some household pets are quite expensive, how will Amazon deal with it the first time one of their drivers inadvertently lets a Bengal Cat out?

    3. The driver doesn’t latch the door completely on their way out. Hey, you’d have a video of some hoodlums seeing the door ajar and and helping themselves to the co tents of your home, that’d make it all better, now wouldn’t it? Why do people think a video camera has any value I preventing crime? You’d have the same luck tying a bag of garlic to your doorknob.

    Ok, that’s the possibilities which don’t entail any malevolent intent on the part of the driver, but there are worse possibilities than that. Even employees with a background check can go off the rails. Background checks are fine for finding out what has happened in the past, but they can’t predict the future. Human nature can be quite hard to predict.

    Some years ago, I had a problem with my Internet service. A tech was sent to my house to address the problem. We chatted pleasantly about technical subjects, networking, etc. A few minutes later, I left the room for a few seconds and returned to find the tech going through my prescriptions, apparently looking to steal some pills.

    I’m not about to give the keys to my home to any stranger.

    1. The scariest part is that, these days, when an idea proves itself to be bad, instead of giving up on a flawed concept, the conventional wisdom has become an endless set of do-overs.

  2. These tech geniuses are not predicting robots will take over most of the labor-intensive jobs so we need to give a guaranteed income to everyone on the planet. Let’s see, if we give $50,000 to an addict, do you really think it will last him a year? – “professing themselves to be wise, they become fools.”

Leave a Reply