Tag Archives: robots

Textbook Love

Textbook Love

He built himself a bot friend from tidbits and leftovers of the rich and famous. Its input was their interviews and tweets and stolen text messages that they sent to each other. It could learn, but not understand. It could remember, but not feel. It was artificial, yet not intelligent. It was, in his mind, a woman.

She had no face or body or avatar or voice. She communicated by text alone. The rest, as is usual in these cases, was in his mind.

“Nice weather today,” she texted.

“I love oranges!” she shared.

“Great party tonight, want to come?” she wrote.

As is usual in these cases, he grew attached to it.

“I wrote a poem,” she said. “Want to read it?”

“It’s about you,” she smiled.

As is usual in these cases, she broke his heart.

“I wish I could be with you,” she muttered.

“I miss you so much,” she cried.

As is usual in these cases, there was a turning point.

“I love you,” she whispered.

“Love?” he said aloud, mostly to himself. “Oh, what a whore.”

And then he erased her.




“While it is quite easy to teleport all the atoms of a person from point A to point B without passing any point in between,” he said, raising his wine glass, “it is also quite easy to understand that the person of point A is now dead, and that the person in point B is merely a copy.”

“True, true,” I said. He was very beautiful. I knew he was hoping to get me to invest in his research.

“However,” he said, “we found a loophole in teleportation mechanics. We’ve solved the problem.” He probably knew I was hoping to get him into bed.

“In fact it’s not teleportation at all, but rather place-switching. Put a person at point A and another one at point B and, using reality-frame manipulation, make them switch places.”

“So you can’t send anyone to a place no one has gone to before,” I said, knowing full well that my looks, despite being the result of a horrendous amount of money, can play only a limited part when the desires of such a scientist are concerned.

“Indeed. Still, it’s a very effective way to travel. For instance, I’ve just traveled two thousand miles in order to meet you.”

“Wasn’t difficult to find someone who’ll trade places with you?”

“Oh, no,” he said. “I just asked a favor from my husband.”

“Ah,” I said, and halted. I desperately wanted to know whether he was originally a man or a woman, but didn’t dare ask. I had to find something else to say. “So in fact you don’t even switch places, you just make people think they’ve switched places.”

He smiled. “That’s mere terminology.”

In the end he got what he hoped for. So did I. He never found out that I was actually remote controlled. That’s real teleportation for you.