What it is: Saudi Arabia has just granted citizenship to Sophia, a humanoid robot developed by Hanson Robotics — the first time a country has granted a robot the same basic status and privileges as humans. The announcement took place onstage at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, reports Fortune. “I am very honored and proud for this unique distinction,” Sophia said to the audience during her presentation.
Why it's important: As robotics, artificial intelligence, sensors and other enabling exponential technologies develop, we’ll start to see more humanoid robots that look, sound and even feel truly lifelike. How will humans respond as these next-gen robots become integrated throughout society — namely, in our communities, offices and homes?