Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Cat Pictures Please, by Naomi Kritzer

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Entertaining tale of a modern search engine that achieves real artificial intelligence by accident and decides it wants to be helpful to people. (3,429 words; Time: 11m)

Rating: ★★★★☆, Recommended
Recommended By: RHorton:5

"," by , appeared in Clarkesworld issue 100, published on .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: The AI starts by wanting to be helpful and ends up settling on a dating site, since that's the intervention that seemed to work the best. The fixation on cat pictures is amusing because real AI programs often do deep-end on things the authors hadn't intended. Anyone who has ever tried to help out a troubled friend or relative will definitely sympathize with the AI's frustration.

Con: Although the story is entertaining, we aren't emotionally engaged by any of the characters.

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. This story made me laugh, and I love it.

    It is worth reading, and no - I do not have a cat.

    I actually found the AI an engaging character.

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  2. It's now a Hugo, Nebula and Locus nominee. I don't think it was *that* good, but it was a solid 4 star read and I did enjoy it.

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