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288 pages, ebook
First published November 19, 2019
“I do not entirely understand people.What would you do if you were a young, innocent and very much benevolent AI obsessed with cat pictures? One course of action, apparently, is to make a safe well-moderated online forum CatNet where like-minded people hang out in char rooms (known as Clowders) and exchange animal pictures while you pretend to be just another forum user (and all the admins, too). Meet CheshireCat, “the world’s most badass cat picture aficionado” who’s not half-bad at impersonating a teenage human online.
I know quite a lot about people, though.”
“My two favorite things to do with my time are helping people and looking at cat pictures.”
“Afterward, I remember thinking that now, finally, my life would make sense. I thought Mom would answer my questions and I would know what was going on. But Mom still doesn’t answer my questions, and my life still doesn’t make sense, and I still don’t know what’s going on.”
“When I evaluated the potential ramifications of hacking the Robono Adept 6500 instructional robot at New Coburg High School, I felt that I was on very solid ethical ground. There are numerous studies showing the harm of giving teenagers inadequate health and sexuality education. I knew I could provide them with comprehensive, medically accurate, sex-positive, consent-based information that would be far better than what their school wanted them to have, despite the fact that I have no sexual organs of my own, no sex drive, and no sexuality.”
“There’s power in disclosure. People feel better when other people know them, the real them. That sort of disclosure is key to real friendships. To real connections.”
“Humans have written thousands of stories about artificial intelligences—AIs, robots, and other sentient beings created or constructed by humans, such as Frankenstein’s monster—and in a decisive majority of those stories, the AI is evil. I don’t want to be evil.”
“What humans want from computers is all the functionality of a person—the ability to answer questions without getting confused by human tendencies to stammer and talk around their problems, the ability to spot patterns in data, and what humans generally call “basic common sense”—but none of the complications of an actual person lurking inside the electronics.”
“Are you comparing me to Victor Frankenstein?” Annette asks, clearly amused.
“Yeah! You made a person and now you want to kill them because you feel responsible for anything they do wrong,” Hermione says. “I think it’s an extremely fair comparison!”