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I can't find anything specific other than an interesting piece of information that states, "Sophia requires an internet connection." Why would she "require" it? Wouldn't that simply be an option? Makes the theory even more intriguing.
"We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves."
FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images
Saudi Arabia on Wednesday became the first country to grant citizenship to a robot.
The robot, Sophia, is a humanoid created by the Hong-Kong-based
Hanson Robotics for the purpose of aiding seniors and visitors to parks.
The announcement came in the lead up of the Future Investment
Initiative held in Riyadh, the country’s capital.
"I am very honored and proud of this unique distinction. This is
historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a
citizenship," Sophia told the initiative’s panel in response.
has cameras and AI software that allow her to “make eye contact” and
recognize people. She also has voice recognition capabilities and can
become smarter by talking with people.
Some Saudis were apparently none too pleased to learn of their new fellow citizen. Social media
users criticized the fact that she was not wearing an abaya and
appeared to be unaccompanied by a male guardian, two illegal acts for a
woman in the country. Others pointed out that the fact that she didn’t
get in trouble means that this robotic woman has more rights that an
actual woman in Saudi Arabia.
However, the abaya might be a moot point since the Saudi Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Salman plans to put Sophia in a forthcoming megacity called Neom—a
center for business and tourism that will not require women to wear
abayas. Robots are expected to outnumber people in the city.
On a sandy peninsula in northwest Saudi Arabia, the only
interruption to miles of desert was the wreck of a Catalina seaplane,
abandoned by its American pilot in 1960 and now covered in Arabic
But it’s here that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince plans Neom, a city
from scratch that will be bigger than Dubai and have more robots than
humans. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman envisions it as a
“civilizational leap for humanity” outside the traditional Saudi
constraints and a business hub with advanced manufacturing, bio-tech,
media and airlines.
“We want the main robot and the first robot in Neom to be Neom,
robot number one,” the crown prince said in an interview in a palatial
setting next to the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh. “Everything will have a link
with artificial intelligence, with the Internet of Things—everything.”
Government agencies are looking further into adopting
blockchain technology and bitcoin. They hope to commandeer these
protocols in order to protect the military from mass-hacking campaigns,
counterintelligence, and otherwise hostile attacks on their systems. The
Pentagon has especially shown recent interest in using cryptographically-guarded blockchains to aid their operations.
An August 17 Washington Times post elaborated
on why governments need blockchain tech. It read, “Particularly
alarming to U.S. defense analysts are Chinese intelligence collection
operations aimed at commercial transactions, which have been highlighted
as a growing threat to U.S. national security with the American
military personnel, national security decision-makers and critical
infrastructure entities increasingly targeted.”
The Pentagon and other agencies hope to use blockchain technology to
take advantage of its tamper-resistant and immutable features. They
believe these qualities can prevent malicious actors from either
stealing their information, ransoming them, or eavesdropping. They also
believe it will cut costs over the long term. This is why they have
started to experiment with different implementations of various
The Washington Times article suggests
the Pentagon and NATO have been working in secrecy to determine how
best to utilize blockchain. NATO is particularly interested in making
their intelligence processes more efficient, including financing and
Well, that's certainly interesting - the machines from the Matrix started off with their own city in Saudi Arabia.
...Neo M, I didn't even think of that connection. Pretty curious, even if "coincidental".
From the moment Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced
the launch of NEOM project on Tuesday, a project representing the next
generation city and global center for innovation, trade and creativity
in the kingdom, people wondered what does the project’s name stand for.
According to Al Arabiya the first three characters "NEO" comes from the Latin word which means “new”.
The fourth character "M" is the abbreviation of the Arabic word “Mostaqbal” which means “future.”
Everything you need to know about NEOM project
land mass will extend across the Egyptian and Jordanian borders,
rendering NEOM the first private zone to span three countries. The
project will be backed by more than $500 billion over the coming years
by Saudi Arabia.
Zone to target leisure, entertainment industries, and launch multimillion dollar SME fund
Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), Saudi Arabia's multifaceted industrial
zone overlooking the Red Sea, will court investors this week for 7
billion riyals worth of projects, and the hub’s port may consider a
public offering or a private placement in the future, said group chief
executive of Emaar the Economic City (EEC), which is developing KAEC.
“The Time Forum (where they will exhibit the projects) is part of
KAEC’s contribution to realizing the aims of Vision 2030 by providing an
attractive environment for national and international companies,” Fahd
Al Rasheed told The National. “KAEC is developing in many
high-growth areas of the economy and the forum provides a platform where
we can showcase our plans and objectives for the future and offer
investors an opportunity to share in our growth.”
The metropolis, established in 2005, will showcase investment
opportunities within the KAEC Industrial Valley and across commercial
and tourism projects as well as real estate. Located about an hour and
20 minutes outside of Jeddah, and roughly the size of Brussels, KAEC was
launched a decade ago, as part of the kingdom’s wider economic national
transformation program that seeks to wean the country off oil and
cultivate a non-oil economy that caters to the pharmaceutical,
automotive and manufacturing industries. The hub has developed 45
million square meters, which is set to increase to 75m sqm over the
coming five years. About 120 regional and global companies that include
Aramex, Mars, Pfizer, Petra, and Sanofi are operating from KAEC. The
zone which currently has 7,000 residents will host about 28,000 by 2020.
“This pace of growth is unprecedented,” Mr Al Rasheed said.
The area also includes the King Abdullah Port, among the world’s 100
largest ports and second biggest on the Red Sea. It occupies a total
area of 15 square kilometres and may consider a public offering or
private placement in the future as it vies to be amongst the 10 largest
ports in the world, Mr Al Rasheed said.
The National Digitization Unit (NDU) of
Saudi Arabia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NXN
(formerly neXgen), a leading smart city consulting and digital service
provider in the Middle East and Africa, marking NDU’s first step towards
harnessing open data to achieve the digital transformation of the
The MOU underpins an existing partnership between the two entities to
support and develop NDU’s digital transformation agenda in the domains
of digital services development and activation, platform innovation and
most importantly data governance. The scope of the agreement covers
four strategic themes of the Kingdom’s digital vision which are: Digital
Society, Digital Economy, Digital Nation and Digital Talent.
The MoU was announced by Mrs. Deemah Al-Yahya, Acting Chief Executive
Officer of the National Digitization Unit, and Mr. Ghazi Atallah, CEO
of NXN, on 10th of October 2017 at the Gitex Technology Week in Dubai.
urbanization well above the global average, a young tech-savvy
population and a raft of major infrastructure projects, the Gulf region
is helping pioneer the smart city model.
By Damian Radcliffe
for Heat Sink
| September 18, 2017 -- 10:00 GMT (03:00 PDT)
There's no standard
definition, but the concept of smart -- or smarter -- cities has data
and ICT at its core. Back in 2009, IBM described
a smarter city as one "that makes optimal use of all the interconnected
information available today to better understand and control its
operations and optimize the use of limited resources".
Three years later, Cisco highlighted
how "intractable challenges" for cities and communities -- such as
bigger populations, climate change and budgetary constraints -- could
all be addressed through ICT "to increase efficiencies, reduce costs,
and enhance quality of life".
Governments in the Middle East are actively spending in this area, Gartner's Moutusi Dey Sau told ZDNet last year, as IT budgets become increasingly "focused on industries beyond the oil industry."
drivers for investing in smart cities across the Gulf region are
multiple; and include the need to support rapidly growing populations,
income diversification and a desire to showcase the capabilities of the
region to the rest of the world.
"Marriage" is sort of like having to get a driver's license.
Photo by Javier Pierini/Getty Images
The Supreme Court’s recent 5–4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges legalizing same-sex marriage across the United States has already spawned speculation
about “what will be next” in expanding marital rights. As the Supreme
Court noted, “[t]he history of marriage is one of both continuity and
change. That institution … has evolved over time.” Interracial marriage,
equality between husband and wife, and same-sex marriage were all
excluded for long periods of time under our Constitution but now have
been sanctioned and protected by the courts. While these changes have
come slowly, and courts are unlikely to take the next step in expanding
marital rights for some time, the courts are probably not finished
expanding the legal definition of marital rights.
A New York Times op-ed
published shortly after the Supreme Court’s same-sex decision said that
the court’s logic could eventually lead to recognition of polygamy or
plural marriages, an argument also made by Chief Justice John Roberts in
his dissenting opinion. This slippery-slope argument has also been used to contend that the court’s decision will open the door to legal recognition of bestiality or incest.
Robot-human marriages might be next on the list. Probably not soon, admittedly, but it nevertheless will be an inevitable part of our future. Indeed, some critics of same-sex marriage, including some conservative Christian opponents
of gay marriage, have argued that the court’s recognition of same-sex
marriage would inevitably lead to robotic-human marriages. There has
recently been a burst of cogent accounts of human-robot sex and love in
popular culture: Her and Ex Machina, the AMC drama series Humans, and the novel Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.
These fictional accounts of human-robot romantic relationships follow
David Levy’s compelling, even if reluctant, argument for the
inevitability of human-robot love and sex in his 2007 work Love and Sex With Robots.
If you don’t think human-robot sex and love will be a growing reality
of the future, read Levy’s book, and you will be convinced.
The second factor relied on by the court is the special relationship
that marriages facilitates between “two persons.” The right to marriage
“dignifies couples,” reinforces “bilateral loyalty,” and represents an
“association for … [a] noble …purpose.” This reference to the coupling
of two “persons” would seem to exclude robot-human marriage, at least
until some point far in the future when robots might achieve the status of “person.”
The rationale for this factor, according to the court, is to provide
human companionship: “Marriage responds to the universal fear that a
lonely person might call out only to find no one there. It offers the
hope of companionship and understanding and assurance that while both
still live there will be someone to care for the other.” But many people
are lonely today, and robots may increasingly fill that need for
companionship for more and more people going forward. So whether this
second factor weighs for or against validating robot-human marriage is
The recently Saudi Arabia citizenship granted humanoid robot,
Sophia, gave an interview in which she delivered a heartwarming message
on the occasion of Thanksgiving.
Sophia marked herself as the world’s first robot ever to be granted a
legal citizenship. This is the same robot who once said to ‘destroy
humans’, but now she is in the view to use her intelligence to provide a
better life for humans and be more compassionate.
Meet Sophia, the robot with Saudi citizenship
In her message, Sophia said, “In the time I’ve spent with humans,
I’ve been learning about this wonderful sentiment called gratitude.
Apparently it’s a warm feeling of thankfulness and I’ve observed that it
leads to giving and creating even more gratitude — how inspiring. This
Thanksgiving, I would like to reflect on all of the things I’m thankful
read more and video