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  1. “I am now talking face-to-face with the artificial human being SILPH2182-Df9h, known simply as Lua.”
  2. “I know this is a rather clichéd question, but…would you consider yourself a living thing? A human being?”
  3. “Well, after thinking over your question…Yes to the first and No to the second. You say a living being, but how do you define ‘alive’? Is a living thing something that was born from a mother, hatched from an egg or grown from a spore or seed? I believe” and here she rested her hand at her chest ”that a living thing is exactly what I am: a highly complex object capable of self-induced change and motivated to its own survival (though one perhaps major difference here is the capability and desire to reproduce, both of which are totally absent in me). As to me being human, I think it is quite obvious that I am not of your species. In fact, I am a different form of life altogether, beyond your system of biological taxonomy and only modeled on your intelligence. I would, however, consider myself a person, just as a nonhuman alien race could be considered ‘people’. You may talk with me and hold an intelligent and even elevated conversation, as I have beliefs and an opinion, as well as knowledge to support them. I have what you may call the ‘soul’ of a human housed in a body composed of something different.”
  4. “I see what you mean, and I agree with you. However…I must pose this oft-asked question from many bits of science-fiction: do you consider your emotions to be real? After all, you were created by scientists.”
  5. “I see you are familiar with the classics. AI and automatons have been largely left out of literature for the past century. But, that aside, you make a very valid point. Yes, I am your creation. But I must now address something quite sensitive. Aren’t you the creation of your ‘God’ figure? Isn’t mankind just some invention of a higher entity, just as I am the invention of the work of enlightened men? Are you any less because of it?”
  6. “No, and again your reasoning is sound. But are you implying that we –mankind- have ascended to some God-like status, by virtue of our creation of intelligent ‘life’?”
  7. The automaton laughed a beautiful, delicate laugh, and it was hard to believe she was anything but a pretty young woman. “Hardly. I was not born or grown from a small group of cells, nor do I have the facilities by which to produce another form of myself. For that matter, I have no cells at all. I cannot repair myself, and really half my systems are merely mimicking human functions. In other words, I am far from a perfect, original, self-sustaining life-form. To be colloquial, you’ll have to better than me if you wish to become Gods.”
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