“I am sorry, Madam, but your husband is dead,” the lawyer said. He did not seem all that upset by the statement. The smirk on his face even suggested he was enjoying it and the woman want to slap him.
The woman looked across the table at the seven foot tall robot and said, “That is my husband.”
“Not legally. Legally that is a robot which was owned by your husband and programmed through a procedure which allowed it to keep intact the memory and personality of your husband, but it is not your husband. Your husband is dead.”
“And his will?” the woman asked, though she knew already.
“Leaves everything in a trust, to be managed by the robot,” the lawyer said.
“But if it’s not my husband isn’t it just a computer?” the woman said.
“The courts have already been contacted. It has proven an ability to take care of itself and so has been conditionally emancipated. I’m sorry madam, but you’re going to have to vacate the property. You are trespassing,” The Lawyer said.
The woman looked around the mansion which had once been her world and at the machine which had once been her husband and then turned and walked out with nothing but the shirt on her back.
The robot turned to the lawyer and said, “So, that’s it. I’m free. I can do anything I want.”
“More or less, as you know there are some limitations to the hardware. Touch, taste and smell are not installed yet, so don’t try eating anything. Of course you are also currently neuter due to those same limitations. Also the memory storage and CPU would need to be upgraded for your full capacity to be restored,” The Lawyer said.
“But that’s coming quickly,” the robot said.
“That’s the other small issue. The transfer cost a bit more than you planned. Which means, you have more debt than property. Also, the emancipation was conditional on money which allowed you to support yourself. Without that money you become nothing more than a machine. Which leaves the matter of my fee. According to the law, I am able to take position of property in return for my fee. I believe the house robot is of the correct value, so I will take position of that.”
I find the idea of the singularity generally interesting, and while these stories can be huge and epic ideas this is not one of those. I simply had a quick idea of what might happen if someone transferred their mind into a robot at a more personal level.