Legal Analysis Finds Judges Have No Idea What Robots Are

The last judge-ordered beheading in the United States occurred in 1981, US District Judge Charles Brieant announced that the “dismantling of Walter Ego’s head and torso will be required.” This wasn’t some act of government-endorsed brutality, however. Walter Ego was a robot entertainer that was suspiciously similar to a competing robot named Rodney. Walter Ego’s destruction made news briefs around the country: “Robot Beheaded” and “Walter Ego Loses His Head,” but his plight has otherwise been lost in the annals of history. We can’t be sure what Brieant was thinking when he ordered poor Walter killed (Brieant died in 2008), but a new legal analysis by Ryan Calo, an assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Law, has found that there have been a whole litany of cases…


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