The Upgrade
Sarah Sunday
6210

Sarah, this story is a sweet morsel to enjoy. Good rhythm and placing, good use of language (including jargon), and very nice pacing getting to the reveal. I enjoyed your story and will want to sample your other work.

If I may, though, it seems to me the storyline has a couple of flaws that get in the way.

The first is the premise that the State is withholding official recognition of personhood to an AI based on the nature of the code it runs. When (if?) an AI is recognized by the law as having the rights of a person, it will be based on its demonstrating by its behavior that it is a self-aware, sentient being. (Then again, under US law, a corporation is recognized as a “person”, and that wasn’t based on anyone believing that corporations are self-aware let alone sentient.)

The second is the contradiction between the legal status of the protagonist (non-person) and the protagonist’s exercise of choice (not accepting the upgrade, emigrating to Europa). To be a non-person is to be incapable of owning property, but also, inescapably, to BE property. Thus, so long as the protagonist is a non-person, it is not in the position to make the choices described. (Perhaps we are to read the story as the tragic self-delusion of a slave?)

Thanks for sharing. ☺