I meant to do my entries last week as usual, but was dragged into a sudden whirlwind of activity around my case: I expected the hearing would be months down the line, but apparently, when your suit might catch the public opinion, people are more than happy to fast-track it for you.
I suppose the City Council felt that, with the violence a few weeks ago against androids, my case might do their PR some good.
Whatever their reasoning, a week and a half ago I was informed that the hearings would begin within the week – they started last Thursday.
Mr Fairly was very understanding when I told him I’d probably need some time off for the hearing – he was worried at first that it might be something to do with the crash, coming so soon afterwards, but once I explained my case and motives, he was more than happy to let me take the time. I expected he would stop there, but he also pointed me towards the file on Rivia & Peters, a law firm that we’d negotiated agreements for in the past. He explained that the eponymous Rivia was a very outspoken android rights supporter – when I contacted him, and cited Mr Fairly, he agreed to take on my case for a pittance – all the more amazing since it was at such ridiculously short notice. Then again, I suppose that just like the Council he must’ve realised that if all went well, and all went public, it would be exceptional PR.
He suggested we use you, diary, as…well, not ‘evidence’ per se, but certainly something approaching it. One of a number of arguments to show that I’m more than just the sum of my original programming.
Well, it’s more than just that of course. All modern androids evolve beyond their original programming to an extent, that’s half the point of building us with AI, limited though it is.
What we’ve been trying to prove is that I’ve become more than just an android learning and adapting itself to some small extent.
We’re trying to show that I’ve developed my own burgeoning personality, my own moral system, tastes and likes and dislikes.
I think we’re making good progress really, though I’m sure that’s just because of where we are.
One of the presiding council members was already pretty much on my side as a member of one of the android rights groups – I’m not sure which. The other four are mostly on the fence, though one seems to be edging out against me. I suppose it wouldn’t be a worthwhile case if there was no one particularly ‘against’ the notion, but it still would’ve been nice.
ProNat have been protesting outside since hearings began, to no one’s surprise. They don’t seem to have much support though, which is quite a relief. Their numbers have increased since last week, I suppose as the news of the case spread out, but none of them seem to be the violent kind of ProNat supporter; most just seem to be people worried that androids will take over society if given a single inch. I suppose it mirrors all sorts of cases from history where the status quo is questioned, even in a small way, and people are afraid of change.
I think that’s why I don’t dislike these people, despite the fact that they have decided they don’t like me. Well, they don’t like what I’m doing. Maybe they just, on principle, have a problem with the idea and don’t hold it against me? I don’t know. It’s a nice thought though, certainly.
As it is, they’re scared of what change might bring, and I can’t really blame them. I doubt the laws about replacing human workers with android ones will ever be changed – which is perfectly fair, I think – but it’s the sort of thing that worries them.
Like I said – they think if androids are given an inch, they’ll take everything. I don’t really think that’s fair. For one, if I win this case, and my first law is adapted, it won’t suddenly change all androids everywhere, forever. The suit asks that I be evaluated to ensure that I would function much the same with a devalued First law – put bluntly I have to demonstrate, through assorted tests of character, that I’m not a psychopath.
I’m relatively certain that I’m not – for one thing, while I couldn’t have acted on any ‘thoughts’ in that vein, I’d have certainly noticed them as they were thrown out by the emotion implant. I haven’t – so hopefully, all is well.
On that note though, tomorrow should be interesting; the case has attracted…rather more interest than I thought, and as a part of that, a couple of the engineers who built my emotional implant are flying in tonight to speak for my suit tomorrow.
It’s strange. On the one hand, I know that they’re doing it for the publicity inherent in it, and for pride in their design. But I also like to think they’re doing it because they consider me, in some way, their creation. I hesitate to say ‘their child’ since that seems to be a rather constant cliché in the old sci-fi films I’ve been watching with Joseph recently, but the sentiment is similar.
I hope, at least, to be able to talk to them – to thank them for the way the chip has changed my life.
‘Created’ my life might be a better way to put it. Was what I had before a ‘life’? I think it was possibly just an ‘existence’: a true ‘life’ comes of desires and joys and fears. At least, so Grace has been telling me in our increasingly infrequent counselling sessions.
So while a factory somewhere gave me existence, gave birth to me in the most general of terms, these men who I will meet tomorrow are members of the team who designed my life.
I should probably say thank you.