First Residency to AI Chatbot Shibuya Mirai

After Sophia, the first robot that was granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia, another artificial entity was granted rights traditionally reserved for humans. A Japanese chatbot Shibuya Mirai was granted official residency in the Shibuya Ward in Tokyo. This chatbot is a simulation of a seven-year old boy. According to the press, “he” is enrolled in a real-life local registry and the purpose of this action wass to promote discussion with local residents on how to run local government in the district. The name can be translated as the Future of Shibuya.

Again, such as with Sophia, granting an artificial entity some kind of legal status is in this case rather symbolic. However, it might have unforeseen legal consequences. For instance, residents of Japan are guaranteed fundamental human rights as well as obliged to pay national and local taxes. As Shibuya Mirai is supposed to be a child with no income, he probably will not be obliged to pay any taxes. However, if he is supposed to have the fundamental right to life, could someone object to switching him off?

More from the press can be found on the website of Newsweek or JapanToday.

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