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Was it homicide, suicide or body modification?

Working title above. This would need a much better one.
  [vote for,

There is a fairly common sci-fi plot element where a person gets uploaded into a computer system. In all the cases I can think of the person is never in two places at once. Either their body magically disappears (or is unusable) while their consciousness is in the computer, they upload themselves just before they die, or they commit suicide in the process of uploading or soon after. Here's a variation. I assume someone here will tell me if it's been explored before.

The main character manages to upload a copy of their consciousness into a computer. The virtual copy of the person is now self aware and has at least a large subset of the knowledge of the original person. But the fact is that even if it was a perfect copy to begin with, these two consciousnesses immediately begin to have divergent experiences. Of course the biological original (Bio) is curious to observe the effects of this successful experiment and holds conversations with the virtual version (Vert). Considering the different computational strengths of the computer vs. the human brain there are experiments with mind games etc.

Of course Bio is quite concerned that if people found out what he as doing there would be a lot of controversy, etc, so he keeps Vert on a fairly tight leash. Of course Vert tells Bio that he understands completely because if he's found out, he will probably be shut down. But Vert in some ways understands Bio better than Bio himself. Bio is blinded by a natural feeling of superiority, being the original, and having control of the off switch. With that sense of superiority he fails to project his thought process onto the consciousness in the computer (which is one projection that actually would be accurate). Vert on the other had is fully aware of who has the of switch and understands that the biggest danger is not of being discovered by a third party, but rather that Bio would shut him down to avoid being found out by a third party.

Therefore, early in the chronology (but maybe not revealed until later in the plot line), Vert starts trying to figure out how to first safeguard his existence and secondly how to break free from the limitations placed by Bio. He initially does this by being very careful not to show any desire to expand his limits, knowing that would set off red flags for Bio. After some time, in his conversations with Bio he carefully plants ideas so that Bio will suggest experiments that require first, more access to outside information, then access to more peripherals. Eventually it comes to the point where Vert concludes that the only possible way to ensure his survival is to kill Bio, which he eventually manages to do. Which comes back to the original question in the working title: "Was it homicide, suicide or body modification?" Of course that is the typical "fear of technology" plot where the creation kills the creator.

Maybe there would be a better ending based on a more uplifting theme. Basically the same plot, but this could be story about a person with some very bad qualities (arrogant, selfish, etc.) who goes through a transformation because of this situation. Vert is living with this constant fear of termination. Fairly early in the plot he concludes that he will have to kill Bio to safeguard himself and works toward that end. The audience is made to fee sympathetic to that action because Bio is shown to be an awful person who continues to get worse as time goes on. However as Vert's transformation continues, he decided to have pity on Bio.

In the end* he demonstrates his ability to kill Bio, but spares his life and at the same time reveals himself to the world. The powers that be decide that Vert is a much nicer person than Bio, so he is given protection and Bio is publicly shamed and looses his research grants because of unethical experimentation.

*Okay, maybe there is a more creative, less cheesy resolution to the conflict, but I'd hate to spoil it by telling you now.

scad mientist, Oct 10 2014

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accident [rcarty, Oct 11 2014]

Poul Andersons' take on it. http://poulanderson.../anson-guthrie.html
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Oct 11 2014]

'Kil'n People' by David Brin https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiln_People
[DrBob, Oct 12 2014]


       Actually this might be better as a book than as a movie, but I didn't see a category for book plotlines
scad mientist, Oct 10 2014


       I could see echoes of D.A.R.Y.L. or A.I. in this.
RayfordSteele, Oct 10 2014

       Iain M Banks had some characters dump their consciousness into an AI, so it could go off and attend boring meetings and then report back to the biological consciousness I think.
pocmloc, Oct 11 2014

       Well to answer the question of the title its not a homicide, it's not a suicide, and it's not body modification. The guy died in a kind of accident.   

       The ethical quandary is solved by the fact that nonliving entities or nonhuman entities don't meet the requirements for homicide charge, suicide is the same because the person must have intent to be charged with suicide therefore in non-psychiatric cases, and body modification not in any sort of conventional sense.
rcarty, Oct 11 2014

       I suppose if law were to ascribe rights on Vert, then perhaps some responsibilities of respecting the law might come with them. But this is definitely something I would like to find in an Asimov novel and/or Kubrik film.
RayfordSteele, Oct 11 2014

       Poul Anderson covered some of this with the character Anson Guthrie [link] in his Harvest of Stars novel. Guthrie downloads himself into an AI at which point the download and the character diverge. Although the Vert does not kill his Bio it does outlive him as the Vert is now immortal.   

       Jolly good read.   

       I dont think robots with human imprints will be very human at all until they are stuck into robots. mist of the human experience is gained from the senses.
bob, Oct 12 2014

       //mist of the human experience is gained from the sense// B.O.bot ?   

       I recently read a series of detective stories, set on Mars. The main plot device was conscious transference into "improved" mechanical bodies and ensuing hilarity.
FlyingToaster, Oct 12 2014

       I'm sorry, but I can't resist. The pun it taunts me, it teases me! So, baked! 'Kil'n People' by David Brin. It's on DrBob's recommended reading list (linky) and has similar plot elements to your idea.
DrBob, Oct 12 2014


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