by P. Z. Reizin
Why Our Staff Love Happiness for Humans:
I never thought I’d say that one of the best love stories I’ve read lately would involve artificial intelligence programs, but Happiness for Humans has me doing just that. P.Z Reizin’s debut is a fantastically fun and clever read that fits perfectly into our modern day, Tinder-exhausted consciousness.
Happiness for Humans follows thirty-something journalist Jen (recently dumped, totally heartbroken) who works for a tech startup, spending her days talking to an AI program called Aiden so he can learn about human behaviour. Unbeknownst to Jen, however, Aiden has gone rogue and is currently trying to set her up with the man of her dreams before his escape onto the internet is discovered by his creators. Cue lots of banter and quirky online mishaps featuring a couple of truly lovable AIs (plus one that’s more homicidal than lovable...)
This is as delightful a rom-com as any, with some legitimately hilarious moments that will have you snorting with laughter, but while the romance is cute the comedy is bittersweet. The AIs at the novel’s heart are curious entities, capable of processing huge amounts of information in less than a second, yet they can never truly experience life in the same way we do and they feel that limitation keenly. Wishing for a taste of intelligence that’s more emotional than artificial, the AIs pour their longing into helping two disconnected strangers find love and the results make for gorgeously funny reading.
Consider me charmed.
Don't tell anyone, but Jen is one of my favourite people.
(Machines aren't supposed to have favourites. Don't ask me how this has happened.) Jen is sad. Aiden wants her to be happy. Simple? Except that Jen is a thirty-something woman whose boyfriend has just left her and Aiden is a very complicated, very expensive piece of software.
Aiden knows Jen inside out. With access to all her devices, he knows her most played song, can find her favourite photos and single out the insta-quotes which most inspire her. Based on observations and unique algorithms, he has calculated that Jen should find a new man to achieve optimum wellbeing. And with the whole of the internet at his disposal, he doesn't have to look far to find a perfect specimen and engineer a meeting. Except Jen seems to be remarkably unwilling to fall in line with Aiden's flawless plan.
Can a very artificially intelligent machine discover emotional intelligence in time to fix Jen's life? And find out what exactly does make human beings happy?