Japan Grants Citizenship to AI Robot

AI ‘boy’ Shibuya Mirai granted residency in central Tokyo

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Shibuya Mirai Resident Certificate

Following in the footsteps of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Japan has now officially granted residence to artificial intelligence. The country of the rising sun has given the special status of a 7-year-old boy named Shibuya Mirai. However, what makes Mirai special is not his success in obtaining a special permanent resident certificate, but his unique identity.

Actually, Shibuya Mirai is an ‘Artificial Intelligence’ similar to a child’s thinking and Mirai did not have physical bodies. Despite not having a physical head, foot, hand, or body, they program Mirai to look like a boy who likes to talk and never feels tired. He can have text conversations with humans on the widely used LINE messaging app.

“Line messenger” by n.bhupinder is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Shibuya Mirai — the first name a reference to the popular fashion district in the city of Tokyo with a population of around 224,000 people that attracts many young people, and the last name of Mirai translating to “future”. Whether you call it an anthem or a subtle reference, the message is unmistakable in this case: the future of technology lies with the youth.

Shibuya Mirai is a project that aims to help the Shibuya district administration get closer and to know the residents better, thus making it easier for government officials to listen to the problem of their people.

The citizenship status received by Mirai is known as Special Permanent Resident. The status is like the status of permanent residents who were originally only given to the original inhabitants of the former Japanese colonies, such as Korea or Taiwan. So far, only 500,000 Japanese people have this special permanent resident status.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

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