Sofia: The Saudi Robot!

In Diet & Health, News, psychology, Satire by Liliyan HassanLeave a Comment

Sofia, the first robot to be granted a citizenship, is now officially a citizen of Saudi Arabia. Not only does Sofia do as men like and want, but she does not have to live up to the standards of shame and modesty that other Saudi women need to live up to. As a woman, I must say that it offends me greatly to give such robots a female/woman identity. Self-image is not a thing that is only damaged by the demand of higher standards, but it is also damaged by presenting women as something that is of lower standard. Wag your finger and tell that girl, “Stop being so robot like, Kelly!”—“Am I being robot like, mommy?!” The sweet sound of self-esteem being thrown in the trash!

Although Sofia is “woman-like” in how her face looks and how her facial expressions are presented, these two areas are often enough to make up for a humanity in a person in regards to others in terms of interaction. Such robots are not woman-like, period. No, such robots are “women-like” in terms of how a woman would be like under the terms of abuse. An abused woman is who Sofia is like. “Do not act like you are an abused woman, Kelly!” (AKA: Take responsibility of the abuse you have faced). To be granted a citizenship in Saudi Arabia is nothing short of a mockery against the women who live there–a statement that is meant to be an acknowledgement of a bad treatment and despite it. The mockery of human rights in terms of dress code where the face of a woman is right when it is NOT covered is highlighted in Robot-Sofia where her face sits as a covering onto an exposed computer-chipped “skull”. And indeed, the exposing of Robot-Sofia’s head makes right the necessity to cover up a woman’s hair all while highlighting the difference as being an abuse that a woman should take responsibility for.

When it comes to robots and humans, it is something of an insult onto humanity itself to attempt to make a human-like robot since the image of a man and the image of a woman is something that is meant to have a value in and of itself over everything else in this world. Meaning that our bodies have an intrinsic value that nothing else in this world has been granted. The abilities that come with being a person is also something that even some humans do not fully have. Our dogs do not have all of our abilities. Our cats do not have all of our abilities. Each ability is a way and robots should not have more ways than both animals and human beings. To bring forth human-robots as a gesture is to forget that such gesture is made up of more than just a few gestures but is made up of an entire set of values and actions and behaviors and gestures that are able to replace an actual human being. Here is an idea: how about making something that can take her place?! This is not science but a women’s rights violation in the making. Why not clone us instead?! More life-like, don’t you think?! It is in the abuse of our human rights and it is in the duration of such abuse that the making of such robots is merely another women’s rights violation. I have the right to be a woman who is treated well…and I have the right to be treated well from myself onto myself… Most women have the half-right to be taken care of by a man… that is something that objects should have. Taking responsibility for such problem is something that women-robots will make out of women by reinforcing her as the one who owns that property where “that property” is not even herself but the “take care of her” part.

I do not want to compete with a robot. I do not want a robot to be a woman. I do not want to compete with women. And I do not want women to be a robot. The placement of nouns is important, all of the sudden, in order to send the right message. I do not want a robot to be a woman: This is something that speaks about how a robot can be presented as a woman. I do not want a woman to be a robot: This is something that speaks about how a woman can be abused into acting as if she is a robot. Yet, what is a robot but that which is not a human being? Even a dog upholds a bigger sense of humanity than a robot should have. And what is a human interaction but that which should not harm us so much as to make a robot better? For if I want to speak to someone and that someone can be replaced with a robot, then a person’s “aww am sorry to hear that” reply is a pathetic gesture that is abusive of communication itself. Meaning that if I was to tell you about a bad event that has happened to me; your reaction, which could be something as simple as, “Am sorry to hear that” is not so pathetic that even a robot can satisfy that which it provides towards me in feelings… or can it?! Hence, human-robots, are a trial against our humanity that is meant to test our very own conviction in it. How convinced are you that, “how is your day?” is something of value when it comes out of a human being’s mouth? How convinced are you that the facial expression of a woman who shows sadness for your story is something that is valuable? When a robot can ask you, “how is your day?” is that the same as when a person asks it? The creation of an unnecessary pathetic appreciation for human beings in order to diminish the importance of that which they have not shown thus far is something that we should expect as men bring forth more of these robots to live amongst us. I do not want to be stuck on how important your stupid “sad face” is to me vs how it can merely come from a stupid robot! People are more important than that…although the importance of that is not within the rounds of “Technically speaking”.

The importance in noun placement of “women are not robots” and “robots are not women” is something that should warn us of the creation of an inferiority within our humanity. It is as if a woman gets a “Mrs.” in front of her name while a robot can be treated on first name bases. Although this seems to be, “fair”, we cannot forget that such behavior becomes a seducer and an encourager of our bad side. Remember that  superiority is always fake… and hence, what is the difference in feeling superior in relation to a black person, for example, and feeling superior in relation to a robot? This sense of superiority is a thumbs up for us to feel like we are above our own selves. 

I understand what understanding means: understanding is tied to relating one’s self to that which one knows and encounters. I understand what desire means: it is that which should not be instilled in people but it is that which one is almost born with. To instill (or in this case, install) the desires of a woman in a robot is to continue being satisfied in living within a problematic world where desires are instilled into people. In such world, it is true that robots will be needed to make our lives easier. And if with desire comes emotions, then I say that our natural emotions are in relation to that which agrees with those desires as they are in relation to that which gets in the way of those desires. The emotions of a robot are in relation to the acceptance of desires of a woman that has been abused and are in relation to helping men out in a world where the reaction to such abuse is something that should start a war instead of a robotic smile.

It is indeed pathetic. It is pathetic that one of the biggest differences between a woman-robot and an actual woman is that an actual woman is more likely to look down on herself and to feel the pain that comes from doing so. It is pathetic that we are getting to a point where pain itself is the distinguishing factor that separates people from robots—although robots can pretend to be in pain nevertheless. Yet, the abuse of such fact is that which is meant to keep humanity alive (as if it is the pain coming from delivering a child–another form of sustaining life) since there needs to be an increase in the appreciation of pain in order for us not to start being completely numbed in such robotic-world. Meaning: an appreciation of pain due to the difference it creates between us and robots is something that is needed in order to uphold emotion itself…although in the long run it will make us more likely be okay with abuse until we truly becomes robotic. To accept abuse as right and to take responsibility of the abuse is something that woman-robots will do to women. READ THAT AGAIN: TO ACCEPT ABUSE AS RIGHT AND TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE ABUSE IS SOMETHING THAT WOMAN-ROBOTS WILL DO TO WOMEN. THIS IS NOT SOMETHING THAT MEN STARTED DOING TO WOMEN…NO…THIS IS SOMETHING THAT “WOMAN” WILL DO TO WOMEN….WHAT A WAY TO ESCAPE RESPONSIBILITY, DEAR MEN! 

Hence, the question becomes: UNTIL WHEN?! Until when are we going to push our luck? Until when are we going to make up for the problems in our ways since it is getting to a point where we need a bunch of people who cannot feel any pain at all to give us a hand (This is something that Mexicans should be asking themselves in regards to white people)?! And here, let us talk about Opioid addiction real quickly! Let us talk about the necessity of having people who cannot feel any pain at all in this world we want to morally-sustain. Is it not something of a man’s desires towards women that makes it right for people to feel the need of heroin and feel the need to be numbed? Is this not an admission that we do indeed need a bunch of people of that character?! We are willing to give a robot a chance to help out… but heroin users are very not reliable since some days they may feel like crap and since some other days they may spend the day puking in a toilet. A robot is more convenient indeed to be around… and to a heroin user, the societal need for a person to be as a robot is something that makes them want to puke their guts out in numbness.

Robot-Sofia, who will find me a bit rude for her taste, should be nothing more than a punching bag for women everywhere. Yet, even though that would be the best treatment one can give such robots (being overly critical and rude…telling her to shut the F up… telling her to go screw herself for all you care… telling her that she is a waste of space..telling her that you are not in the mood for her crap…) without feeling a bit of guilt, you will be sad to know that women cannot do that to woman-robots without harming themselves since such gestures have been used by men against women where the woman, once again, will be on the road to taking responsibility for the abuse she has faced thus far. This, therefore, brings us once more to the area of “proper-behavior” where on one hand, it is proper for a woman to talk shit to a robot-woman… yet, this “talking shit” has also been the proper behavior used by men against us. This, in turn, will fuel the self-critical mechanism of our souls in ways that will make us question why we even exist and why we are even seen as important at all. Meaning: Can you really tell a human robot to go, “screw yourself” without not taking it seriously as a human being? And if it is required for one to say “Screw you!” to a robot in order that one can distinguish it from a human being, then how big is a “screw you!” if you were to say it to an actual person? Do we not have to be even more proper than we already are towards each other? And if one was to tell you “screw you” then why is that even wrong? What makes you better than that robot?! Indeed, given the path we are on, woman-robots will be all the woman one needs minus the drama that comes from one being alive. To make a woman out of a bunch of metal comes from a “who cares?!” in how we feel about her. Try replacing Queen Elizabeth with a robot version… would she still remain Queen Elizabeth?! And how much did the value of a real Louis Vuitton bag become when almost everyone owns an exact cheap replica of it?!  Indeed, it is in the abuse of women from being “each is unique and special” into being, “one size fits all” that we have no problems making such robots. 

Sofia is just a robot: but the human image is something that is meant to be cherished as self-respectable for a reason. We cannot undermine the importance of that. We can imagine, however. We can imagine talking to an actual person. Our minds will find points of abuse where in finding enough of them, one day, our minds will refuse to believe that these are not human beings. Meaning: a schizophrenic person is able to conjure up a whole set of people in his living room because there are areas in his mind that allows for such believability. A schizophrenic person is often frightened by the people in his living room because they are based on points of abuse where those people are manufactured out of a set of behaviors that these abuses create. Hence, in talking and interacting to a robot, the first thing that is more likely to happen to a healthy human mind is to start seeing other humans as robotic which will start building a block called, “understanding” where this “understanding” is in relation to “robotic behavior in human image”. In that block of understanding we create a new angle in our perspective where by looking at a person we can start to identify the “robotic” aspects of them. And since understanding is fluid in nature, there will be false-positives where some aspects will appear as robotic even if they are not. Meaning: if we look close at any person for long, s/he will begin to look like a robot. This right there will be the “manufactured block of understanding” (aka. insanity) that we would be creating for ourselves in order that we have a robotic-helping-hand. This “manufactured understanding” will take that which is real and turn it into a problem called, “robotic behavior” all while we are blissfully accepting that robot as a great worker (I feel like a white woman who is talking about the Mexican gardener). We have points of abuse in our minds that are of the same nature: real but are a problem. Which one of these people is the robot when “the real but a problem in relation to real” are also points that are part of you?! That is going to be an interesting question to witness.

Overall, however, Sofia is hot. Very nice lips…and her eyes: are they hazel green?! She looks like Scarlett Johansson made by Hanson Robotics Ltd. So tell me, Scarlett, is that a compliment?! Is it a compliment if a robot not only looks like you… but also is able to sound like you (if WE want her to) ….and do as you do (If WE want her to)?! Can you put yourself above that? Women can barely live up to their own expectations, however. And when women can barely live up to their own expectations, then a robot can become that which is a representation of that expectation itself all while diminishing its value as a robot in order to increase the value in it by the mere humanity of a person. Meaning: if a robot can say, “hello..how are you?” then you are so much better in saying it for the mere fact that you are a person and not a robot although even a robot can say, “hello…how are you?” This frivolous point of comparison should not exist since at the end of the day, with all truth and honesty, I can tell you that you will be the robotic value of that “hello…how are you?” since if a robot says it, then the value of it would be the same as you telling it to yourself. Meaning: to live up to men’s expectations of us, he needed to abuse us. To take the result of that abuse and put it as a behavior of a woman in robotic-form is to make her the “Expectation” itself. And although, we can have a “Feminist robot”–one that tells us to dump our boyfriends and one that tells us that we are better than that–such robots will decrease the value of such gestures by making them that which can just come out of a robot. 

If someone is angry, we do not feel their anger….but we feel something else that is called, “understanding of how anger feels”. If a robot shows an empathetic face, our reaction will be in dismissal of that which is called, “understanding of how empathy feels”… In doing so, the reactions of others towards us would be minimized in general since it is assumed that such reactions can only come from that which is alive and real. This becomes: expectations from others towards us—and it will be minimized. Hence, with this minimization, there becomes an emphasis on points of abuse that will trigger a reaction that demands of us to see robots as indistinguishable from human beings in order to hold on to “human value” itself. Yet, with that, comes an expectation of one’s self to act within the terms of that which upholds human value where “Hello…how are you?!” is magnified in importance as being a new “milestone” where once-upon-an-insane-time such greeting meant nothing if you were to say it and all of the sudden you feel like a toddler who has finally learnt how to say “hello…how are you?!” for the first time. You will be like a white woman. You will be like a white woman who grew up during slavery times where the “hello” of a black person meant nothing at all and now, all of the sudden, when she says, “hello” to a black man she feels like she has reached the peak of Mount Everest in terms of how far she has come. Greeting people becomes an honorable thing to do…it should not be that important… but thanks to oppression it is…and thanks to robots, it will be even more important than that!

So before we become too robotic, let us look around and assert to ourselves the idea that there is something special about being a human being lest we, as a human race, die. We give a child a toy-car to play with…he takes one car and crashes it into another. He would do the same if he was to go behind the wheels of an actual car. Yet, when it comes to humans and human robots, we cannot be the toy that men played with and crashed into each other without that being true in regards to human robots. Can robots teach us humanity? Or are we so confident in ours that we are willing to teach it our own? And if we are so confident in ours, then where is our self-confidence?! And if we are lacking in self-confidence, then can a robot make us more confident without making us accept the problems that caused our lack of self-confidence?! Either ways we cannot forget that in relation to acceptance, the acceptance of ourselves comes with the promise to be better. As for robots, this promise to be better is the hope that it can be as good as we are. 

About the Author

Liliyan Hassan

Founder: Go for Women

Leave a Comment