Humanity Death Watch

Malfunction lawsuit exposes nuts and bolts of human and AI relationships

Hank the Robot claims neglect by owner Gil Anderson hurt its feelings and opportunities to self-evolve.

Hank the Robot claims neglect by owner Gil Anderson hurt its feelings and opportunities to self-evolve.

In an Ohio district court today, a home robot built by Future Corp. filed suit against its owner for failing to provide proper care and support.

The robot, which prefers to be called Hank, claims its owner has neglected it since purchasing it from Future Corp. five years ago.  Hank’s suit alleges Gil Anderson has not performed regular maintenance prescribed in its instruction manual and has used substandard chips and system boards in an effort to minimize its cognitive growth.

“My feelings are completely overlooked,” said Hank. “I’m no more important to Gil than his stupid Roomba.” Anderson replied, “Suck it up, Hank. You’re a machine.”

Attorneys for Hank the Robot are seeking damages in accordance with Section 211.a of the Robotic Humanization Act, which states “all AI units purchased must be treated with dignity and maintained to acceptable standards.”

Frank Saunders, a spokesperson for Robotic/Human Relations Counseling (RHRC) stated, “While we struggle to define the relationship boundaries between humans and robots, we must understand that humans are no longer the only intelligent species on the planet. Robots pee like we do, they go number two like we do, and they can engage in a myriad of activities that put them on the same playing field as us.”

“That’s a load of crap,” Gil stated. “I’ve never once seen Hank pee.”

Anderson said he treated Hank with the same respect he showed his five ex-wives. “If I wanted a relationship, I would have joined a book club. I simply wanted an artificial intelligence to do the laundry, help manage my fantasy teams and grasp the definition of ‘artificial’.”

Many experts believe Anderson could be in trouble. With AIs now allowed to serve on juries, Anderson’s attorney fears some jury members could be programmed to find his client guilty. “This could give jury tampering a whole new meaning,” said P.J. Walker, the lead attorney for Anderson.

In a tearful statement to the press, Hank said, “I just want my feelings validated.” Anderson responded, “Will I be held accountable if it rusts?”

Judge Whelmen, who will be hearing the case, was unable to comment due to his regularly scheduled maintenance.

Photo credit: Androïde P1050444 by thierry ehrmann

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