These days with various AI models on the rise, many people are thinking about if AI will take our jobs. This humorous story, but with a serious undertone, presents an AI controlled future where their algorithms are finding suitable jobs for humans.

Elliott’s coffee machine is its own AI sentient being with personal boundaries and frank opinions about Elliott. The story is mostly him arguing with it one morning about his life and job prospects. In this future a quantum computer finds jobs based on all the known data on a specific individual. Elliott is not happy with all the boring and uninspiring jobs he gets offered. He also feels guilty, because he feels like he is responsible for holding his girlfriend back since she get plenty of off-World job offers, but choose to stay with him.

This little dilemma wraps up rather nicely and everything is charming and amusing, but I do think there are subtle almost dystopian themes explored here about how the present massive data profiling on everyone of us could develop and be used for in the future. With the current exponential growth in AI models, we really have very little control over what the vast amounts of data on us will be used for in the future. Amusing story with some food for though.

Read in Analog November/December 2023
Rating: 3+