Could it be a step to posthumanism or a single marketing strategy or both?

Robot first public speech. Meet Sophia, a robot who made her first public appearance in the Saudi Arabian city of Riyadh on Monday. Sophia was such a hit she was immediately given Saudi citizenship – see the video – in front of hundreds of delegates at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh on 25 October. But as pictures and videos of Sophia began circulating on social media many started to ask why a robot already seemed to have secured more rights than women in the country.

Sophia, created by Hong Kong company Hanson Robotics, addressed the audience in English without the customary headscarf and abaya, a traditional cloak which Saudi women are obliged to wear in public.

“I am very honoured and proud of this unique distinction,” she said. “This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a citizenship.”