If an Artificial Intelligence became sentient, what would it do? Plot world domination by blackmailing nuclear armed states with access to their own launch codes? Fight cybercriminals? Or take an active interest in the things it cannot do? Such as go swimming, eat cheese, or fall in love?
It is a curious premise for a romantic comedy, but P.Z. Reizin pulls it off well.
Aiden is an AI.
Jen is a magazine writer who, by chance, finds herself teaching Aiden about the complexities of humanity, such as preferences in films and books, nuances of speech, and inferred meaning.
When Aiden gets a bit too big for his boots, he ‘moves in’ with Jen and (rather creepily) starts to explore her entire digital footprint.
That’s when things get interesting. Aiden witnesses something he shouldn’t. Jen’s husband Matt breaking up with her.
Aiden finds himself unexpectedly distraught at Jen’s distress and devotes himself to making his favourite human happy, by trying to set her up with someone better.
But of course, the course of love never runs smoothly, not for carbon-based or silicon-based lifeforms.
The voices for the AI (yes, there are more than one … tremble in the benevolent face of Skynet) are fresh and interesting. They have their own quirks, they are people, just not humans.
The story itself is built on a plausible premise and skips lightly along at a good pace for the genre.
And speaking of the rom-com genre, I was recently challenged by a fellow writer to get out of my comfort zone and write a rom-com. The result, The World’s Worst Poet is now a short story available for free only to those who sign up for my newsletter after reading my upcoming novella The Untied Kingdom.
The Untied Kingdom is released on Amazon on 10 October 2020.