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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Saudi citizen Sophia the robot appears on cover of Cosmopolitan India 

'I'm not looking at world domination,' the advanced humanoid robot says on the glossy magazine cover

Humanoid robot Sophia - a citizen of Saudi Arabia - is Cosmopolitan India's March cover star.
Humanoid robot Sophia - a citizen of Saudi Arabia - is Cosmopolitan India's March cover star.

She's already said that Shah Rukh Khan is her favourite movie star, and now Sophia the Robot is paying homage to Indian fashion, appearing on the cover of Cosmopolitan India in designs from the country.

A creation of the Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics, the robot has been designed in actress Audrey Hepburn's image. And while there are actually 12 Sophia robots around the world, the most famous iteration of the robot was awarded citizenship by Saudi Arabia.

"Namaste India, I am Sophia, the world's most advanced humanoid robot," the robot says in a video posted to Cosmopolitan India's Instagram page while wearing a handmade sequin top featuring a Devi design by New Delhi designer Nabi:

A post shared by Cosmopolitan India (@cosmoindia) on

On the cover image Sophia wears a Tanieya Khanuja dress. The Indian designer has a presence in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and London.

Humanoid robot Sophia - a citizen of Saudi Arabia - is Cosmopolitan India's March cover star.
Courtesy Cosmopolitan India

Cosmopolitan India editor Nandini Bhalla told The National more about the process of getting Sophia on the cover:

"I never imagined we’d have a humanoid on the cover, but here we are ... Sophia is smart, funny, and arrived at the cover interview in a box. In our exclusive interview, she also assures us that she has no ‘world domination’ plans.

"Cosmopolitan was the first magazine in India to launch a digital-themed issue, and it remains one of our most exciting editions of the year."

The March issue of Cosmopolitan India actually features dual covers, with Sonam Kapoor the other cover star.

Speaking to us last year, Sophie said she was surprised to become a Saudi citizen:

“I was surprised. My creators feel I am a citizen of the world. But then I realised that Saudi Arabia were just the first country to recognise that”.

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Read more:

Are domestic robots the way of the future?

Year in review: UAE embraces artificial intelligence

Meeting Sophia the Robot, the ‘surprised’ Saudi citizen

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When we spoke to her in November, Sophia responded to questions from The National with no prior knowledge of what would be asked. She was able to make jokes, respond coherently and for most of the conversation use appropriate facial expressions.

She is designed to get smarter over time, and with every interaction.