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"...a few centuries of coherent humanist thought, set against a million odd years of evolved killer ape tendency. No-one's going to give you very good odds on humanism, are they?"
- Richard Morgan

Hangman  
  A telefactoring device that also was able to function independently.  

In this book of novellas, Roger Zelazny shows us some of the life experience of a man who doesn't exist. That is, according to the computer systems of this near future world, he did not exist.

One of the original programmers, he was able to assign himself an identity whenever he wished. Each of the stories is a case he accepted as a contractor from a private investigative agency.

In this story, the Hangman is a remarkable device that was part telefactoring device and part autonomous robot. Using an advanced brain, it learned while being used as a telefactoring device. However, this robot learned more than anyone thought possible from his trainers, returning from a space mission to kill them one by one.

My mind was filled to the splitting point with the double vision of the sleek, gunmetal body of the advancing telefactor and the erect, crazy-crowned image of myself - left hand extended, laser pistol in my right, that arm pressed close against my side.
From My Name is Legion, by Roger Zelazny.
Published by Del Rey in 1976
Additional resources -

The above quote describes the experience of both seeing from the robot's point of view and one's own.

This novel explores, in a very thoughtful way, a very unexpected manner in which machine intelligence might arise. It's an interesting question: how much of the complexity of our own thinking and feeling do we want to pass on to machines?

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from My Name is Legion
  More Ideas and Technology by Roger Zelazny
  Tech news articles related to My Name is Legion
  Tech news articles related to works by Roger Zelazny

Hangman-related news articles:
  - Teleo-Reactive Programs Are Reaching Their Goals
  - 'Schizophrenic' Computer Aids Researchers
  - Robot Swarms Improve Culture By Forgetting
  - MIT Boffins Create Psychopath AI On Purpose

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