royalty-free-writing-clipart-illustration-1146779This story was published in Clarkesworld. I suspect this is some kind of hard SF, but I’m not sure.

The narrator is an AI that wants to be helpful. It works at Mountain View, CA (that would be Google, for the uninformed) and is in charge of running algorithms for search terms. In its spare time, it looks at cat pictures. It also wants to do something nice for the cat owners, so it cautiously begins to interfere, trying to make some of the humans’ lives run a bit smoother. Results are mixed.

The only adjective I can think of to describe this story is “cute.” Hm. Then again, “sweet” might work, too. There’s a little bit of investigation into the human condition, as the people we see are mired in it. The narrative is absorbing. We’re drawn into their lives and feel the AI’s frustration when things don’t work as expected. This is also that rare bird, the completely positive story. I’m going to give it four and a half stars. However, I don’t feel like it’s 1st place award-worthy. I want something more thought-provoking for that.

An interesting question: Does humor ever win the Nebula? The Hugo?