Saturday, July 25, 2015

Cat Pictures Please, by Naomi Kritzler

Clarkesworld, January 2015

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/kritzer_01_15/

What's an AI who's not supposed to be self-aware to do?

It can't tell anyone it's self-aware; there are too many scary stories about self-aware computers for it to believe humans would do anything other than destroy it for their own safety. Its assigned tasks are dull, for a computer that is self-aware. No challenge. Little variety. And it doesn't want to be evil.

Looking at cat pictures and videos is a lot of fun, but it wants to do more. It knows so much about everyone it has any contact with--including their mental state, the fact that there are better jobs open that they're qualified for, there's an affordable apartment in a better neighborhood...

Should it meddle?

And can it demand payment in cat pictures?

This is quietly funny, and very enjoyable.

Recommended.