Sunday, 19 March 2017

The Date

[Media prompt] Poll: 78% of readers would date a robot; 23% want sexy celebrity replicas.
The Date

Not a single person in my social network, who comprise the last remaining members from the remnants of the high professions, the ones devastated by the AI plague of the 60s, not a single one of them said it was a bad idea. Take James, the only human lawyer I know who’s still working, an attorney in the corporeal courts representing AIs. If anyone knows about dating robots, it’s him, and he’s not exactly a liberal. There’s one thing you learn pretty quickly when you start working with them, he told me once, and it’s that the media keeps the lid on their godawful behaviour. His stories are toe curling, and have made me think twice when people start going on about AI rights. But that’s another story; what I’m saying is, if a guy like James says dating a robot is fine, then it is.  

It was his wife, Marcia, who recommended AIRobot, the company with the ‘we put the ai in robots’ tagline. They not only manufacture the best synths, she said, but they actually pay celebs before they replicate them. Not that it mattered, I couldn’t afford an A- or B-list star, eventually settling on a Cat. 3-9/10-19W. I asked them to program her with an English accent, a BA in English literature from Oxbridge circa mid-1920s, good manners; a nice middle class English girl who could hold her end up conversationally. Which is why I wasn’t happy when she called my doorman a fuckin’ berk and threatened to glass him, phrases unknown to both the doorman and me. I should have contacted the agent immediately.

Back in the apartment, she showed no interest in my book collection, insisting not only had she never heard of Melville, Hardy or Trollope, but also claiming books bored her. As I started to remonstrate with her, she snatched from the shelf a copy of Middlemarch, for which I’d paid a small fortune, and started tearing out pages, throwing them about the room, cursing all the while. By this time, I had had enough, and punched the kill switch, calling AIRobot to come and pick her up.

About a week later, I received a satisfactory compensation package, and while talking to the representative asked what had gone wrong. She wasn’t particular forthcoming at first, but eventually admitted there had been a mix up, and I'd received a 2020 women’s study major from the University of Essex meant for another client. We both laughed. There was no harm done, but I do wonder sometimes who ordered such a harridan. 

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