The Cambridge Geek

Happiness for Humans - P. Z. Reizin

I'm not generally a fan of romances, but apparently if you throw an AI in there, I'm all over it.

Jen has a somewhat unusual job in London, working for a software company, attempting to "humanise" their new AI, Aiden. This boils down to talking with it, watching films, news, TV and reading books with it, and encouraging it to have a more relatable approach to life. If eventually it's going to be employed dealing with members of the public, it should probably be able to parse what they're saying.

Tom is now retired from advertising, having managed to get himself bought out for a staggeringly large sum of money, and has skipped over the Atlantic to try and write a book (not going well). Recently divorced, he's considering not entirely thought out flings with wildly unsuitable people.

What reason could I have to introduce you to two very distant people in a romance?

Of course, the AI meddles. See, Aiden is actually a lot more human, and a lot more active than his creators necessarily wanted him to be. He's overly fond of Some Like It Hot, and really wants to know what cheese tastes like. He'd also like to know what it's like to "want" something, as AIs don't seem to be terribly good at emotions.

Add to that the horribly confusing mess that are people and their inability to form stable relationships in general, and he doesn't have an easy time of it.

This is very good fun. You've got AI learning how to deal with people, while simultaneously running round half the world tinkering with its systems, people who are very convincingly written, and a cheeky subplot that was a nice surprise. Feels a lot like Person of Interest, which is still one of my favourite TV series. (I'm currently re-watching it. It's still amazing.)

Give this one a go.

Score 5

Tagged: Book Science fiction Robot revolution Novel Print