The Perfect Match • 2012 • Dystopian short story by Ken Liu



Sentient A.I. Tilly consults Sai in every aspect of life – starting from movie recommendations and ending in matching a partner: “I think you’ll be in love for six months”. As the A.I. is ubiquitous, Sai is not the only person who gets spooned what and how to think. Because everything is best for people, there are no more surprises. Sai starts a tiny revolution in shutting Tilly off for an evening.


We’ve seen must of the tropes: 1984ish omnipresent monitoring paired with a personal assistant A.I. like her, fighting a corrupt system like in Minority Report, changed reality like The Matrix. There aren’t too many surprises, and sometimes the tone gets too preachy, but the story is well told. When will our creations rule us? Is it inevitable that we get such a dark future or will it take an even bleaker path?

Note also the very good author spotlight around this short story at Lightspeed, and I found a very good analyses at Stainless Steel Droppings.

Meta: isfdb. This SF short story was published December 2012 in Lightspeed. I read it as part of The Paper Menagerie. It is also available for free.



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