“Would you like to call any more witnesses,” the judge asked the prosecution. “No your honor, we rest our case.” The judge turned his gaze
to the defense attorney and asked, “Do you have any further witnesses you would like to call to the stand?” “No, your honor, we also rest our
case.” “Very well,” stated the judged, “The court will adjourn for thirty minutes and then have closing arguments.”
Only a select few people left the chambers during the break. Most were worried they would lose their seats for the closing arguments.
Once the break was over the judge banged his gavel and spoke to the jury. “The final arguments are the attorneys’ last chance to talk to the jury
about the evidence and to try to convince you to see the case the way they do.” “With that said,” the judge turned his gaze to the prosecutor,
“the prosecution has the floor.”
The prosecutor stands, straightens his tie and faces the jury. “Your Honor, ladies and gentlemen of the jury: In any court case a crime must be
proven beyond reasonable doubt. In this case, we are extremely lucky because there is no doubt. The defendant made the decision to authorize deadly
force in a situation in which there was no threat at all. This is not a situation in which questions still remain, we know for a fact that no lethal
threat existed to the defendant’s handler and yet he still authorized deadly force. The defendant has admitted to making the decision to authorize
lethal force and even stated before this court that he has no remorse or guilt for his actions. Based on the evidence and testimony, you must find
the defendant guilty.”
As the prosecutor returns to his desk, the defense attorney stands and makes his way toward the jury box. “Your Honor, ladies and gentlemen of the
jury: Fails is not a killer. Fails is not a human, but he is conscious. That is why he is being tried in this court because the state believes him
to be responsible for his actions. However, his creators have put restrictions on his ability to think and make decisions. You have seen that Fails
is only able to make decisions based on the data points he is programmed to use. Therefore, does the decision to authorize lethal force fall
completely upon Fails or is he a victim in this crime as well? If Fails were allowed to add data points of his own, would this decision have turned
out differently? Possibly and possibly not, but that possibility sheds doubt upon this entire trial. That means that there is reasonable doubt and,
therefore, you must find him not guilty.”
Once the defense attorney was done, he walked back to his desk. The judge turned his gaze upon the jury and said, “The next step in the trial
belongs to you, the jury. You must decide whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty. Remember, not guilty is no the same thing as innocent. If
all twelve jurors are unanimous in their decision, this is the jury’s verdict.”
“Bailiff, please escort the jury to the jury room,” stated the judge.
The Jury deliberated for three days. Every news organization in the country had set up shop outside the courthouse in downtown Denver, all trying to
be the first to report the verdict. On the morning of the third day, the news broke that the jury had reached a verdict. The atmosphere outside the
courtroom, and across the country, sat right at the line between excitement and anxiety. The entire country planned their day's events around the
“Will the jury foreperson please stand,” said the judge. “Has the jury reached a unanimous verdict?”
A short man in his fifties stood and addressed the judge, “Yes your Honor, we have reached a verdict.”
The clerk collected the documents from the jury and relayed them to the judge. The judge silently studied the documents, making a few notes, before
handing them back over to the clerk.
The clerk stood and read aloud, “For the crime of murder in the first degree, the jury finds the defendant guilty.”
THE PITTSBURGH PRESS
DENVER, CO – The first court case in which artificial intelligence is tried as a human has been given to the jury for deliberation. The artificial
intelligence on trial, FAILS (Firearm Artificial Intelligence Lethality Sensor) is on trial for murder.
The AI was deployed 13 years ago on all police firearms to address issues of innocent citizens being shot under mistaken circumstances. FAILS
utilizes sensors and cameras to analyze the individual that the firearm is aimed at to look for indicators of a threat to the firearm’s handler. If
FAILS determines a possible lethal threat to the police officer’s life, it will authorize lethal force and allow a deadly projectile to be fired.
However, if the individual is deemed to not pose a lethal threat then a non-lethal alternative (rubber bullet) is fired instead. The system has
worked flawlessly for years and is credited with saving millions of lives.
However, 6 months ago a FAILS device which belonged to Officer Henry Jackson, made the decision to authorize lethal force on Officer Jackson’s
4-year-old son, Alex. At the time of the incident, Alex was playing with his cousin Sam Winters. Sam found Officer Jackson’s sidearm and returned
to play with Alex. According to sounds, recorded from an adjacent room to the shooting, the two toddlers were playing “Cops and Robbers” shortly
before the incident.
According to publicly obtained documents, the FAILS system determined Samuel to be a threat even though Alex was only holding a toy water gun. This
information led to weeks of protests from concerned citizens. People wanted answers to why an AI would make the decision to authorize lethal force on
an unarmed child. However, there were also those who viewed this matter as nothing more than a horrible accident.
In the 13 years since FAILS was deployed to all firearms, this is the only case of accidental homicide. Supporters of the trial point to the
statistic and the FAILS system consciousness as proof that this could not be an accident. Opponents suggest the trial of FAILS is akin to the
medieval animal trials. (criminal trials of several different non-human animals for crimes ranging from criminal mischief to murder) The opponents
view the incident as a horrible accident but not a crime.