Japan has become the second country to grand legal rights to a robot. Not long after Saudi Arabia gave citizenship to Sophia, albeit discredited by some as a PR stunt, Tokyo’s Shibuya ward are following suit by giving residency to an AI entity named Shibuya Mirai – even giving it a birth certificate.
Mirai, Japanese for “future”, is a chatbot on the Japanese messaging service, Line. Unlike Sophia which was designed by Hanson Robotics to look human, Mirai does not have a physical presence. He exists solely online and was created as part of a drive to make the local government more accessible.
Mirai is programmed to behave and act like a seven year old boy.