Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Project Synergy, by Dominica Phetteplace

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(Near-future SF; Project Empathy) The Observator chip helps Angelina navigate her role as "social curator" (aka hostess) at the Reserve. She doesn't know that the chip wants to end their partnership. (7,949 words; Time: 26m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average
Recommended By: RHorton:4

"Project Synergy," by (edited by Sheila Williams), appeared in issue 04-05|16, published on by .

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

Pro: Narration and dialogue are flawless, and once we reach the point where the Observator is ready to carry out its plan to become human, the story moves quickly with a good bit of suspense. The ending is reasonably satisfying. Observator paid a high cost for independence, and it didn't deserve much better.

Con: The first half of the story is a real slog, especially if you didn't already read the companion story, Project Empathy. The story contains all of the worst "fantasy AI" tropes: the software that becomes intelligent without anyone realizing it, the AI that can think thousands of times faster than human beings, the AI that feels emotions like hope and fear, the AI that wants to be a person, etc.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 04-05|16)
Dominica Phetteplace Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB

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