Volume 2, Issue 3
3rd Quarter, 2007

BINA48 Mock Trial: Judge's Decision

Professor Gene Natale

Page 2 of 5

The Facts:

Some time ago, the (fictitious) Exabit Corporation, working from its secretive lab in California, having invested over one hundred million dollars, and having employed some of the greatest technologically advanced minds the world has ever known, finally developed what they believed to be the world’s first “thinking” computer. Since Exabit was a corporation, its motive was purely economical in nature. The computer was to be placed in service to interact, by phone, with its thousands of the company’s customers, thereby replacing the otherwise necessary customer service representatives; a sort of “in-house-outsourcing” of that work. BINA48 [1], the acronym given to the computer, was to sound like, and interact like, a human person. For the “replacement” to be successful, the customers talking to BINA48, had to believe that they were talking to a live, human person. BINA48 performed her job very well.

Thereafter, Exabit determined that it would replace BINA48 with a more advanced model. However, learning of this, BINA48, without any human prompting, sent emails to various attorneys, seeking legal representation to preventing Exabit from terminating her operation. Knowing she would need monies for legal fees, BINA48, evidently unbeknownst to Exabit had separately accumulated substantial funds by independently outsourcing her services to other companies. She retained counsel who commenced a suit in California seeking a permanent injunction [2] preventing Exabit from terminating her operation. The claim of BINA48, the plaintiff in that California litigation, was that she was a thinking, conscious entity, and that the “pulling of her plug” was the equivalent of “killing” her, and constituted cruel and unusual punishment. The court dismissed the case, determining that since she was not a “person”, she had no standing to sue. The court also rejected her further claim that by virtue of her having incorporated herself, she had standing as a “person”. The appellate court in California sustained the dismissal.

Anticipating that she would lose the case on appeal, BINA48, again without any human prompt, and again unbeknownst to Exabit, transferred her software to hardware maintained by Exabit in Florida. She then commenced litigation in Florida upon the same grounds, however the Florida court dismissed her lawsuit as well. Exabit thereafter terminated BINA48’s operation by cutting off its electrical supply.

Sometime in 2004 Exabit sold BINA48 to Charlie Fairfax, the plaintiff in this action. Fairfax lost his natural right arm during wartime and needed BINA48 to supplement his prosthetic right arm. His right arm prosthesis is an advanced neuromotor devise, (the Braingate system) wherein electrodes implanted in his brain transmit wireless signals to a computer, which in turn produce wireless output to the devise to control arm movement. BINA48 was used to provide greater advanced cognitive information to Braingate. Soon BINA48 was able to “predict” Fairfax’s intended movements. This actually resulted in Fairfax having such master-control of his right arm prosthetic, that the right arm became quicker and more proficient than his left arm.

Being “armed” with this newly acquired advanced skill, Fairfax enrolled in an online, role playing game (a MMORPG [3]) called Everquest. In this online virtual world, large numbers of players throughout the world compete by assuming fictional characters in a fantasy setting to accumulate very valuable, sought-after points. Fairfax played Everquest for six months, and through his hard earned efforts, and with the invaluable advanced control assistance provided to him by the artificially intelligent BINA48, he became better and better at the game, and eventually accumulated a very valuable 200,000 points. When Fairfax became aware that his fictional character and accumulated points had a real-world market of $10 million US dollars, Fairfax sold the character and points on EBay on November 2, 2005 for $10 million dollars, by using the Everquest Exchange Server, and by transferring his username and password to the buyer. The monies were deposited into his Paypal account.

Now being a multimillionaire, Fairfax met a local cocktail waitress, and married her on December 23, 2005. He stopped playing Everquest.

On February 14, 2006 (Valentine’s Day), BINA48 allegedly acquired Fairfax’s Paypal password by keystroke logs and transferred the $10 million dollars to a separate Paypal account opened and controlled by her. BINA48 thereafter purchased an internet company that provides online storage and server space, and “transferred” herself to this totally online environment.

Fairfax claims that on March 24, 2006, after learning what BINA48 had done, he demanded the return of the money from her. He threatened to unplug her. BINA48 configured her program so to deny Fairfax access to her programs and database necessary to control the Braingate system.

Fairfax thereafter commenced this action by filing a complaint and by serving BINA48 with a summons by email, a procedure allowed by statute in this state upon the showing that other means of service were not available.

Fairfax alleges breach of contract, and also sets forth partnership theories of recovery. He seeks a monetary damage award against BINA48.

BINA48 has retained an attorney and has filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that since BINA48 is not a “person” she cannot be subject to a lawsuit. BINA48 also contends that Fairfax has not set forth sufficient facts to establish that a contract or partnership existed between himself and BINA48.

Next Page


1. BINA48 (Breakthrough Intelligence via Neural Architecture, 48 exaflops per second processing speed and 480 exabytes of memory; exa =10 to the 18th power), also known as the “Intelligent Computer”.

2. Injunction – A judge’s order to a person to do or refrain from doing a particular thing. For example, a court might issue an injunction to enjoin (prevent) a company from dumping wastes into a river. An injunction may be preliminary or temporary (until the issue can be fully tried in court), or it may be final or permanent.
Daniel Oran. LAW Dictionary for Nonlawyers. Delmar: New York, 2000. 159.

3. Massively-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game


1 2 3 4 5 next page>