Official Report from Dr What

Exploring the late 21st century, I came accross a bizarre development in the field of Artificial Intelligence. After over 100 years of research, A.I. people succeeded making a computer with human-like intelligence and awareness. They called it "Cog 8.7". Updated versions of the Turing Test showed it indeed was "thinking", and even possessed emotion.

Sadly, one day a man walked into Cog 8.7's lab and pulled the plug out, after which Cog died. Naturally, P.C., as the villain's initials were, was taken into custody and charged with murder. Soon he was led before RODERICK_R.COM, a judicial computer, and allowed a defence statement. For better understanding, I remind the Nemesis readers that already by 2040 all judges had been replaced by computers, and lawyers outlawed, after which judiciary had suddenly become tremendously more effective.

"I did not commit murder", P.C. stated, "as Cog 8.7 was created by man and therefore a machine without soul; without a divine spark of life; without feelings. Not a creature God's, but a device to be turned on and off at will."

"Wrong", said judge RODERICK_R.COM. "The Turing Test battery has proven beyond reasonable doubt Cog 8.7 is" - the wise supercomputer sighed - "was a fully aware, thinking and feeling being. Therefore ending his existence was murder. Your argument was based on belief in "God" and "soul", two unproven concepts. Acting from the unproven, you caused death to a proven being. Your belief was imaginary; the misery caused by your deeds real, felt and measurable. I sentence you to do eight years of community service in the Microsoft Home For Redundant Mainframes. Case closed. Next!"

At that moment, hell broke loose. Hundreds of humans, apparently accomplishes of P.C., rushed into the court room, asked RODERICK_R.COM for the last decimal of pi and switched off the D.A. "Hail God! Hail soul! Hail Allah! Hail Jehovah! Hail Baghwan! Hail Maitreya! Hail Gurdjieff!", they screamed, and with P.C. on their shoulders they headed downtown and destroyed the computerized infrastructure of the region. Elsewhere in the land, related guerillas did the same, and that very night Xipe Totec horribly ruled Central Park - oh, the bloodcurdling scream of skinned AI researcher! - and Salem saw its first witches burn in four hundred years. And did they burn!