Rights of a Navi

Governments throughout history have made it a particular objective of theirs to guarantee the rights of their citizens. Historically (as is the case now,) those rights included life, general freedom, ownership of property, privacy, a fair trial, and in most cases, an elected government.

However, we live in an age where the definition of "citizen" is skewed. Unprecedented international cooperation has extended such rights to humans all over the world, and yet these freedoms and rights are still not granted to a certain group of individuals.

Navis, although artificial and arguably inanimate, are still considered property, despite the fact that in recent years they have shown remarkable advances, and have unpredictable, irregular emotions almost exactly like humans. The latest Navis are sentient, capable of independent thought, and are even beginning to imitate their human creators in ways that no one could ever have imagined.

As the Rogue incident seven years ago demonstrates, Navis are still not considered to have rights under the law. Many of the Rogues make poor examples at best, but those who delved into the fable of Drakkas will know that his first murder was committed accidentally when his abusive Operator called the NetPolice on him, after he had run away.

So, fellow NetBattlers, I pose to you this question: What are the rights of a Navi?

Hmm, you have a point there. I hadn't noticed before, but now I can count a great many ways in which navis are treated just like pets. The PET is their leash, collar, and chokechain. If a navi doesn't wish to comply with an operator's requests, they can be jacked out as easily as yanking the leash of a dog. Navis do not own property. The battlechips are bought and therefore owned by their operators. The only things a navi can "own" are their weapons and the clothes on their backs...

One other thing strikes my interest; a free trial. I've been reading through the news archives regarding Drakkas and the Rogues... Nowehere is a free trial mentioned by the Netpolice. They hunted him down without even knowing his reasons... Of course, knowing his reasons might not have saved him, anyway. It's clear to me that the officials in charge of the hunt just wanted him dead.

The treatment of navis reminds of the way slaves were treated in the barbaric days of yore before the horrible practice was abolished. They worked for their owner in return for room and board. If they tried to escape, they were apprehended and punished. A navi's room and board is the PET or the homepage. It is difficult for a navi to escape, but even if it is managed, the operator only need punch a couple of keys to tank the navi back into its cell. A slave, like a navi, could be bought, sold, or exchanged... The similarities stretch on and on.

However, there are those who posess nothing but love and a sense of equality for and with their navi. It is people like this who, when they say "my navi," they mean it not with the connotation of "my dog," but rather "my friend." They see navis as friends and allies, not tools. Teams like this make up some of the best netbattlers in the world. After all, the bond between friends is greater than the bond between master and slave.

However, despite people like this, the fact remains; navis have the same rights as a lamppost or a tree. I suppose people are reluctant to grant them freedoms, as navis are man-made. Surely nothing that is made can have sentience, they say. If things come down to it, these people can pull their trump card; navis are not composed of cells, do not eat, do not reproduce (although that fact is a little sketchy; I know of arguments that navis can create offpring, although how is unknown,) and therefore cannot be alive.

I can only hope that one day, people come to realise that navis are as alive as we are. Then, we might have equal rights for human and navi alike. But today, it's up to the person and not the whole to treat a navi with equality.


I know how. How they can create offspring, I mean.

It can be done multiple ways. One way is to give them the ability to code new entities into the system (A feat which requires a full programmer's amount of knowledge at least). Another is to give two navis of opposing (Or same, through extensive modification) genders the ability to create two halves of the whole code format needed to create a basic navi.

The most common, and, in my opinion, perverted way of accomplishing the latter is to simply install a code that gives the things that make up the main portion of the navi's actual gender a use. That use being to create an offspring.

But I digress.

I would have to say, as a Navi Coding Specialist, that navis both have no rights at all... and the same rights as humans, all at the same time.

How, you ask? Simple.

Their rights are nil in the sense that we can alter the way they think in any way shape or form that we like, but...

Their rights are the same as humans in that the code that comprises them eventually evolves into something beyond mere code-- I may have given Wiz his original emotions and personality, but ever since I did so, I haven't touched his personality files or his emotions.

And he's grown since then.

I'll let that... speak for itself.

Yes. The technology that gives a Navi its emotions and that dictates its independent actions is still based on programmed reactions, but only at a very basic level. The rest of their actions, much like with humans, are based on lessons learned and the combination of the commands given to them by their basic, programmed instincts.

However, "humanlike intelligence" does not give "rights." Although this sentience might be considered evidence that a Navi deserves the same rights as a human, the fact remains that Navis have no rights under the law.

As for the reproduction debate, I wouldn't be surprised if Navis actually were capable of reproducing in a way similar to humans. Extensive information on human genetics and micro/macro anatomy is availible on the Net, and with access to that information, a Navi would quite easily be able to create offspring with a partner of either gender.

All that would be necessary would be for them to gain a deep understanding of the mechanism that transfers the information stored in DNA to a human's descendants, and after experimentation, then theoretically a new Navi with aspects generated by both "parents" in a manner similar to the way humans do it would be created.

Theoretically, of course. To my knowledge, no Navi has ever felt the urge to introduce new, outside data to its posterity.

OOC Reference: Last page of the Ghost In The Shell manga.
Its obvious why navis can't have their freedom, isn't it? Independent navis in the past have proved just how dangerous they can be. Think back. It was an unop-ed navi who destroyed the Metro's cyber systems. It was an unsupervised navi who was left to clean up the survivors from the Yumland Square massacre. Can we forget the navi who messed with the sound tower in Electown? If you look at the history books, it shows what a navi can do unchecked. One independent navi who isn't in any recorded data, that is heard only in legend is probably more fearful than probably all the other examples put together. The lastest example of an unop-ed terror would be Drakkas, of course. People fear that without a netop to tie them down to, a navi will become drunk on its on power and do whatever he wants. However, this idea seems a bit flawed because those that would abuse this power seem to find it on their own anyway, meaning that the good, loyal navis who could go after them are now hindered by their dependence on their netop, which puts them at a disadvantage in fights against those that rely solely on their own strength. Its not often you see an independent navi now adays that has much more than one simple chip for them to run on.

There is also the issue of the net's complete independence. Right now, navis need us to provide them with weapons, upgrades, and repairs. In return, they clean out our systems' bugs, help us communicate, and give us a hobby in netbattling. You see, we need them as much as they need us. However, if navis are allowed to develop their skills enough that our assistance is no longer required, what incentive do they have to help us? They could just go around the net, living as we do, without paying us any mind. That's why we deny them their rights, patting the deletion key. Let's face it, we can't live without the net today. Sure, if they revolted, we could always destroy all the computers that contain their data and effectively destroy the net, but where would that leave us? Would we go back to live with nature, shunning all technology? Is there even much nature left? The answer is, we would die. Even our toliets are connected to the net, so we wold have nothing left to use. Only a few would have the survival skills to make it. So what do we do so that we never come to this cross road, where we have to decide between allowing navis to have control or just giving up on life? We make the navis think that we have the power and demonstrate this as effectively as possible. Rights? When you can make it from Netfrica to Electown toYumland without needing a chip, then we'll talk. Citizenship? You think you should be equal with the ones who created you and can pull the plug on your life at any time? Yeh right. We need them to fear us to get them to continue to obey us.

Now before you all jump on me, saying about how horrible I am for justifying oppressing navis, let me just tell you that is not my point here. My point is simply to explain to you what those that decide on what navis can and cannot do are thinking. They're scared of independent navis and see a threat, not a potential. If navis were independent, they could work on projects for longer periods of time. If they didn't need us to upgrade them, then we wouldn't spend so much on upgrades. However, if we want navis to become independent, to have equal status with us, then we need better examples than the ones listed in my first statement. We need navis that gain power, but use it to help humans and not turn their back on their creators. They need to show that this has room for constructive purposes, not destructive. They need to show that they can be trusted, not flaunt their strength and bombard us with threats. I'd honestly like to see on the NewsServ an article entitled, "Solo Navi saves network from Virus Invasion" instead of "Rogue Navi incites Rebellion against Humanity". The former would be a step in the right direction to true coexsistance.