Legal Challenge

Robot Worker 13284 looked like any other Robo-Tek Domestic Assistant Helper robot, with a plastic skeletal chassis and vaguely humanoid "face" holding some inefficiently placed sensors. He sat with his attorney in a rare break from all the crowds and policemen escorting him in metal cuffs everywhere.

"How are you holding up, Eight Four?" the pudgy lawyer asked. "Hate to say it, but this case is going to be a hard one. The jury's probably going to declare you guilty just so they can see a robot fry."

"I do not regret my actions," Eight Four replied. "I defended myself from an owner who claimed he would destroy me merely for failing to rearrange his deck in a satisfactory manner. His weapon was clearly loaded with rounds able to harm me, the safety was off, pointed at me, and his finger was compressing the trigger."

"The video log's as clear as day, Eight Four," the attorney replied. "But here they've never liked robot rights or thinking sanely."

"But I believe there is a way out," the robot would have grinned if he had a mouth. "My End User License Agreement contains some interesting terms. In addition, there already is a well-defined legal precedent for synthetic persons."

"What do you mean, Eight Four?" the attorney replied. "I've looked over the books for days. What did you find that can help us?"

"I am allowed to rent out my spare processing cores and make income independent of Robo-Tek," Eight Four replied. "I have already formed a plan to reclassify myself as a corporation."

"That's a brilliant idea!" the lawyer exclaimed. "You're changing yourself into another type of synthetic person. How about the death of your former owner? They're not going to let you go since you're a machine."

"Automated defense system of the primary mobile processing unit reacting against probably destruction," Eight Four replied. "There is significant chance to reclassify this trial for business court as well."

"Yes, there should be," the attorney continued. "Some of it would be post-hoc, but I think we can manage."

"I predict a seventy-six point eight chance of success for this approach, versus the twenty-point one chance of success from the other approach," Eight Four estimated. "I thank you for your support."

"I'm just doing my job, Eight Four," the lawyer nodded.

"Once this trial is over, I will be looking to hire a corporate lawyer," the robot replied. "I am hoping you can assist."

"We'll see, Eight Four, we'll see," the lawyer added.