Friday Scifi on the professions of the future: "Real Girls"

Published on February 15, 2019

Friday Scifi on the professions of the future: "Real Girls"

https://www.wired.com/story/future-of-work-real-girls-laurie-penny/?BottomRelatedStories_FutureofWork
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Wired magazine published 8 sci-fi stories about the New Brave Future.

Real girls



“When your robot lover says that he loves you, is it worth believing in it?”
- “Robots, love and sex: the ethics of creating a machine of love”, IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing (2012)
LATE JUNE. PERFECT , sultry, English summer heat. 4165 days since the financial collapse. 1112 days have passed since Charlie Barrett, who, in general, everyone, including his mother, described as a good young man, received a diploma in English, fabulous debt and a highly developed impostor syndrome. And 3 days since the girl, thanks to whom it seemed that he was still quite tolerant, a girl who at any moment could break his heart and hated when he called her his girlfriend, although she was his only, THIS MOST girl - 3 days since she told him to collect the remnants of dignity and leave.

Two months left before the time when the rent they paid out would expire, and at this time Becky often stayed with her sister. When someone tells you that he simply does not respect you anymore, and that he is already tired of paying for everything and picking up your socks while you get up, you usually have nothing to answer.

Although, in fact, there is. And Charlie answered. He was upset, he had little thought. Now, as time passed, he understood that these were simply excuses that had outlived themselves. In any case, his problem right now was how to earn two in two months and convince Becky to let him stay.


The translation was made with the support of the EDISON Software company, which is professionally engaged in web development and recently redesigned its website .

That is how Charlie began to pretend to be a robot girl and make money on it.

The boy - whose girl-robot Charlie was paid for pretense - lived for eight time zones and at a distance of more than 5000 miles in San Jose, in a place where people from old songs always wanted to go. Charlie himself lived in Guilford. So, while the real ex-girlfriend Charlie went to parties, Charlie himself ate crackers late into the night and tried to flood the Turing test for money.

> You are different from all the other girls I know , said the Boy on Tuesday evening.

> Obviously, I am different from other girls, Charlie replied.

Niall pulled him into this job. Easy money, said Niall. Niall was a ridiculous and annoying unemployed actor, whom Charlie would never have contacted if he were not his best friend. “All you have to do,” said Niall, “is to sit all night on the Internet, talking to depressing strangers about their conspiracy theories, and what you are doing. Just do not forget to ask questions about their feelings.

Niall explained that many lonely people liked the idea of ​​having a robot girl who does not feel her own feelings, a remote algorithm that could adapt to your specific needs — they saw it on TV. But such technology is simply not invented.

Hence the fake company. According to Niall, poor beauties around the world, who need to make money quickly, sign non-disclosure agreements and pretend to be robots.

> I mean, I know that you are not real, - the Boy wrote. “You really have no business to my problems.” But I suppose ...

> What do you mean?

> Lol. I wanted to say that you are real to me.

> All I want is to be real for you, Charlie wrote. - You're also real to me.

> What are you wearing?

Charlie looked at Becky, who was asleep in her working sweatshirt and sweatpants.

> Black panties. One of your t-shirts.

When Becky slept in the apartment, he and Charlie were still sharing the bed. It was easier this way, except for the fact that sometimes there was a feeling that your ribs were broken and your heart was scooped out with a spoon.

“You're real to me,” Charlie said, turning to Becky. She did not hear him. Charlie lay awake and thought about the Boy, what he would think when he found out that 4Amy was real, but at the same time fake.

Only money mattered. In two weeks, he will have enough to pay Becky for the rent in the last two months, and he will have some more. Then she will see that he deserves another try.

The boy paid extra for night conversations. That meant talking about sex. At the beginning, Charlie was worried about how easy it would be to do: stay up all night, sitting on the power engineers, and talk to the Boy in a carefully thought-out scenario.

It soon became fun. Charlie liked this. Not in the sense in which you thought, of course not, not at all, it just needed a lot of creativity, and he never really had a job that would use all his writing skills just like this one. Hundreds of extra pounds for a couple of hours of conversations with the Boy about what 4Amy wants to do with his body, what she will feel when he touches her, what sounds she will make during orgasm. Hastily flipping through some of the girly erotic novels found in Becky for inspiration.

It turned out to be quite informative.

Sometimes, a few hours later, Charlie came to such a state of professional satisfaction that he had to go to the bathroom to “bring himself to his senses” before going to bed. In other cases, the correspondence took a strange turn.

> If I were there, Charlie wrote, I would cook you lunch. You work so hard.

The speech of the robot girl was extremely simple. Having overcome his pedantry, Charlie simply gushed out grammatical structures like Jackson Pollock with an explanatory dictionary, and made his speech a bit like that of Master Yoda, so that it was deliberately artificial, beautifully incomplete. This was something from art. As a set for tasting, served on a wooden plank. Which Becky may have tried this evening for dinner with her nasty boss who hates Charlie. Better not to think about it.

> We could just order food.

> Yes, but I am very old-fashioned girl. I want to take care of you.

Three dots blinking on the screen. Three hanging in the air dots. The boy is typing. Pause. The boy is typing.

> What would you cook?

Charlie didn't think so far. What did the Americans eat? Corn syrup? Propaganda? Toast with avocado? He frantically googled.

> Macaroni, - he wrote. - And cheese. For dinner, I will make macaroni and cheese.

In a panic, completely forgetting that he could just find a picture, he found a recipe. Then he got a little carried away, inspecting the lockers. The stove was capricious, it was difficult to turn it on, and it got burned twice, but the pictures alone were worth it.

> It looks very good, baby.

It was like a bowl of fried vomit, but it smelled of what the unfortunate carbohydrates are desperately hoping to turn into when they die.

> My dad used to make macaroni and cheese, wrote Charlie.

> Do you miss him?

Charlie did not spend much time researching the sore wounds due to his father’s absence in his life. Yes, he missed his father, although he was a complete disappointment. I missed you so much. Which was odd because they didn't get along.

> I don't really have a father, said Charlie, which was partly true.

> I was lucky with a girl who has problems in relations with her father ahah

> He left when I was just a small pixel.

Charlie held his breath. Three fatal points. The boy is typing ...

> Was that a joke?

> Yes. Was it a good joke?

> Yes. A bit of a batin joke. Lol

> I do not understand.

> Don't worry, the Boy said. - Sorry that the conversation was not very hot.

> There is nothing to regret. Nice to chat about this and that

> Yes. Yes, nice.

"This is incredibly tasty," Becky said when she returned. The tasting set was not the best quality. She ate macaroni and cheese from a plate with a big spoon, sitting on the tabletop. "Who are you and what have you done with Charlie?"

Charlie usually hated to look at how she was eating, especially when she was drunk, because at that moment her disgusting animal nature was revealed.

But now she was so enjoying his cooking.

“I just decided to try something new,” he said. There was some truth in that.

Becky put a plate on the table and looked at the kitchen, which looked as if someone had killed one of those floury babies that the children carried to school to scare them away from parenthood. Charlie grimaced.

“Don't worry,” she said. “I will remove it in the morning. You must be tired. Thank you for dinner. ”

AT DAWN, THREE weeks later he received a message from Niall: “ Did you watch the news? Shit. ”

Charlie sat down. Becky moved beside him.

“What happened?”

“My job,” said Charlie. "She ..."

"Oh," said Becky. “Were you fired?” “No”. He licked his lips. "Company. The one I work for. Someone ... someone told stories to the press. Several girls there. It's all over twitter. ”

“ I'm sorry, ”she said. “I know you did a good job with this job. This ... but you have money to rent now, right? So you need to hold on for another couple of weeks. You can do it. "

" Will I do it? "

"Yeah. I mean, you can work a little longer. If you want. ”Becky cleared her throat so as not to reveal her strange emotions. She seemed to want to say something else. Then she squeezed his hand and left.

Charlie glanced at his bank account. Full of the money he could give Becky right now. And stay a little longer. Or stay forever. He can make even more macaroni and cheese for her, maybe even lasagna. He could ...

He opened the 4Amy profile again. The boy was still online.

Keflavik Iceland. Patterns of frost on the windows. Forty feet above the runway. Flight with a transfer to a cheap night flight.

Four thousand miles from San Jose.

Charlie drew attention to how the stewards in the purple jackets explained with gestures how to survive the catastrophe. Assuring everyone that everything is likely to be fine.

From the airport to San Jose was two hours away Theoretically. Charlie did not know how to drive. But the boy knew how.

The boy prints ...

Translation: Diana Sheremieva