File image: Bloomberg.

CAPE TOWN - A 23-year old Japanese robot named Erica, is set to make her debut as a news anchor in April this year. 

The robot, resembling a young woman, was created in 2014 by the director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at Osaka University, Hiroshi Ishiguro. Ishiguro described his automaton as "the most beautiful and most human-like autonomous android in this world". 

Erica’s current functions involve processing sound from its source and from interactions with people. She can also track human movement around a limited space. However, her arms and legs are not functional which restricts her from moving around and walking like a human. 

Erica, however, considers herself as an actual person who lives in Kyoto, Japan. 

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Although Erica is set to become a news anchor, she is still regarded as a robot.  However, there are countries who have sanctioned robots to receive citizenship. 

Saudi Arabia being the first country to grant a robot citizenship.  The robot who is named Sophia the Humanoid, was designed to look like Audrey Hepburn received her citizenship which was announced at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last year.

I am very honoured and proud of this unique distinction,” Sophia said in an interview with moderator Andrew Ross Sorkin. 

"This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a citizenship.”, she said.  Sophia was created by David Hanson for Hong Kong company Hanson Robotics. Hanson is known for making human-like robots. “I want to live and work with humans so I need to express the emotions to understand humans and build trust with people", Sophia said.

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