This was from a sci-fi anthology of short stories I read 10 years ago. The anthology may have contained some of the Greats (Asimov, Clarke, Dick etc.)

I remember the juxtaposition of the AI watching his real self mentally decline.

Eventually the AI orders the man to lay plastic sheeting on the ground while his wife is out, carefully instructing him to put the gun in his mouth and depress the trigger.

The [cop?] friend arrives at the scene of suicide and is asked to delete the AI copy of his personality.

I want to find the book again because the reasoning for the deletion of self especially a carbon copy was poignant, but I cannot remember why.

Someone asked the same question back in 2009 with no luck.


1 Answer 1


It is the short story 'Living Will' in the book Breath of Suspension by Alexander Jablokov.

Credit to NoNotChad on Reddit who found the answer.

A very poignant story built around a simple premise: what if you could encode a simulation of your personality into a piece of software and let it make the decision when a disease had changed you so much (here Alzheimer's) your old, encoded self wouldn’t want to go on living and burdening others and would tell you to kill yourself?

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    Just wanted to share this excerpt with anyone who is interested: "People have spent a lot of time and energy analyzing what they call ‘computability’: how easily problems can be solved. But there’s another side to it: what problems should be solved. Personality can be defined by the way problems are chosen. It’s an interesting project.” Commented Jun 24, 2020 at 16:08

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