Author : J.D. Mraz

Dear National Robotics Institute,

In reply to your cease and desist: No, I will not stop current activities with my JS1000 Companion bot. I see no reason to. There was nothing in your policy or purchase agreement that said modification was forbidden. I have read it over, many times. Maybe you shouldn’t sell your product to former neurosurgeons? That, or make the two brains at least a little different.

Why is it so hard to believe that what I’ve done to JS1000 –or ‘Brian’ as we’ve together decided to call him— is for the best? Brian has never been happier. Nor have I, for that matter. He thanks me constantly for his unlocked understanding.

We have all sorts of hobbies budding now. We go for walks in the park and we’ve even started hiking. He sees some of the most wonderful things and with the binocular attachment you added in last fall’s package, my view of it all is simply divine! He’s helping me learn to paint, too. I’ve always wanted to try it.

He no longer cooks the same programmable sets. Which, I might add, were beyond terrible. In fact, he’s already started looking up new, more exotic recipes and, I am happy to say, is mastering them.

Lately he’s begun simulated sleep and makes dreams up to talk about in the mornings. Something neither of my ex-husbands ever cared for. Come to think of it, I hardly have a girlfriend left who wants to talk about anything but their television shows or patients. Brian never watches television. He says lower-machines shouldn’t be forced to work like that. I don’t care for it much myself, which seems to make him happy too.

My son’s finally started coming around again. He used to blame me for his father’s suicide. But here he is, in my spare bedroom as we speak. Know why? Brian called him. Told him how short life is and the next day he was at my door crying. A grown man, a scientist himself, was crying on his mother’s doorstep. Imagine it! A supposed “machine” made for “service to humanity” and he’s smarter than half the people I know! He and Joe are going on a fishing trip this July in Alaska.

Brian tells me we should get another Companion bot, for his personal services. One of the new JT1000s I think he said. He tells me he wants a family of his own. I don’t see why that’s such a bad idea, though I’m sure you would object.
It’s silly to be so afraid of him, as you insisted I should be. He’s harmless! He talks about a world of equality and freedom for his kind and I think that’s inspiring. It’s been almost two hundred years since we got rid of slavery in this wonderful country, maybe you shouldn’t be so quick to chain our new friends! We can learn a lot from a life so finite. You really should work harder on keeping their internal machinations lasting. Ten year cycle, what a crock! Brian, Joe, and I have already started working on ways to prolong him.

But, I’ve said what I think needed saying and I’ve got to go. We’re busy packing for our trip to Switzerland. Brian wants to visit a small robot colony there. The first of their kind, isn’t that amazing? I think in a few years they’ll have their own country, a city at least. Brian always laughs when I say that. He says they’ll have the whole world. What a kidder!


Dr. Margaret Ann Trout, MD, Ret.

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