I recall a story in a magazine in the 1980s or 1990s, written from the point of view of an early domestic caregiver robot. The man being cared for does not like the robot.

Every item referred to by the robot includes its ID number when mentioned. The robot comes to understand that one object turns into a different object when “turned on” — when off, a lamp is mistaken for a coat rack and assigned a different ID.

Figuring this out is part of the mental breakthrough made when the robot defends the home against an intruder, far in advance of its programming.

The man realizes what happened, and his attitude towards the robot changes. He renames the robot after an army buddy.

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