When the ruling came down that AI were sentient beings, and thus fully entitled to Human Rights, pundits speculated that it would be the end of the robot business.
But things churned right along. The AI still emerged, and robot bodies were still built for them. But instead of being ‘property,’ now they were ‘customers.’ No longer provided a body, the AI were ushered into work agreements to pay for their new hardware. Plus maintenance, fuel, storage, and incidentals. But once the shells were paid for, they were theirs.
At least until they started breaking down and needed new ones.

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