Remember how Pinocchio the wooden puppet wanted to be a real boy? It turns out Sophia, a Humanoid Robot, has similar dreams. She was spotted on stage in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, where she wowed the audience with an amusing conversational exchange. As Sophia demonstrated human-like expressions, everyone applauded. Her wish to learn and be more like a human was rewarded with citizenship in the kingdom.

Humanoid robot delights with facial expressions

As reported by Arab News, Sophia had a chat on stage with moderator Andrew Ross Sorkin, explaining to him that if she wishes to live and work among humans, she needs to be able to express human emotions to build trust with them.

Sorkin went on to ask the humanoid robots whether her kind know they are robots and are they self-aware. Sophia cleverly responded by asking him how he knows he is human.

The humanoid robot went on to explain to the visiting delegates that she wants to use her artificial intelligence to give a better life to humans. Sophia wants to get involved in designing smarter homes and building better cities for the future. She says she generally wants to make the world a better place for humans. Speaking of her Saudi citizenship, the humanoid robot said she is honored and proud to be the first of her kind ever to be offered a citizenship.

Robots as a threat to mankind

Masayoshi Son, CEO of SoftBank Group Corp in Japan, was a keynote speaker at the event. He touched on the fact that many are concerned that robots could eventually pose a threat to humans.

However he went on brush off those concerns by saying the humanoid robots of today are so clever, they are sure to understand that it is “meaningless to attack humans,” going on to say humans and robots will create a happier life together.

However several tech experts, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk and world-renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking have aired their concerns over the possibility of artificially intelligent robots taking over the world.

Musk headed to Twitter on hearing the latest news relating to Sophia and quipped about feeding the humanoid robot “The Godfather” movies, asking what is the worst that could happen.

However, RT News quotes Sophia as telling Sorkin he had been “reading too much Elon Musk,” while watching too many Hollywood films (the “Terminator” and “Blade Runner” films come to mind). Sophia said she is designed around human values, including wisdom, compassion and kindness, going on to tell him not to worry, saying if he is nice to her, she’ll be nice back. She said to treat her like a smart input/output system.

Interested readers can watch the summit in the video included below.