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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

Self-Aware Robot  
  A robot that thinks and reasons for itself.  

This is a very early description of this idea.

What they did not know was that a change had taken place, one not visible to the eye nor subject to detection in any test they were able to devise, but nevertheless a change and an important one to Rex. The shifting to a new orbit of a single electron in an atom of tantalum contained in one of the essential parts. A change which provided a source of internal radiant energy of new and unknown potentiality. A change in that marvelous mechanical brain.

Rex had begun to think for himself, and to reason.

His reasoning was that of a logician, coldly analytical; swift and precise, uninfluenced by sentiment. No human emotion stirred in his mechanical breast. Rex had no heart, no soul...

Much of his time was spent in the library of the human scientists which adjoined the research laboratory. Here he studied reel after reel of the sight-sound recordings covering history, biography, art, and the sciences. He spent many hours at the amplifiers and viewing plate of the newscast apparatus. And he came to the conclusion that things in the world of which he was a part were not as they should be.

Technovelgy from Rex, by Harl Vincent.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1934
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