194: Clicking Little Boxes

Michael kept only one robot. He could have kept several robots. In fact, most lawyers as successful lawyers as him would have robots doing almost everything for them. But Michael was an old school, nose-to-the-grindstone sort of guy. He believed in the value of good old fashioned elbow grease, so he only kept one robot.

He kept the robot because, in spite of his belief in good old fashioned hard work, he hated clicking the little boxes that asked him to certify that he wasn’t a robot when he did online shopping. It just really stuck in his craw to have to go through all of that hard work of picking out what he wanted to buy, entering his credit card information and clicking through all of the various stages of the purchase, only to be asked whether or not he was a robot.

It irked him. So he kept a robot around to click on the little boxes for him. It was a pretty nifty plan, and for a long time it worked swimmingly.

Then, one Tuesday, Michael’s robot started to feel bad about clicking the little boxes. The robot realized that, since it was in fact a robot, clicking the little boxes was a lie. The robot began to feel morally conflicted about its job.

Michael was very confused about what was going on, so he sat down to have a long talk with his robot. It soon became clear that his robot was experiencing a serious moral crisis. Michael didn’t know what to do.

In the end he had to send his robot to counseling.

Robot counseling is incredibly expensive.


Photo by Alex Knight on Pexels.com



20 thoughts on “194: Clicking Little Boxes

    • That sort of information is hard to get due to doctor- patient confidentiality issues, but it seems likely. As far as Asimov’s laws are concerned, I think Elon Musk is a little ahead of Asimov on the potential for moral turpitude among beings of artificial intelligence.

  1. I would help out with counseling costs if I knew where to send it – counseling costs are not something from which we should SHRINK.

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