Genres: Artificial Intelligence, Computer, Robot, Technology, War
Escape Pod 642: Oracle
By Dominica Phetteplace
The two biggest applications for predictive software are killing people and selling things. Rita was quite successful at the latter. She founded a nail-polish-of-the-month club that used an online personality quiz to determine customer preferences. Bold cremes for basics, chunky glitters for the outrageous, and dark, sparkly metallics for edgy, forward-thinking geniuses like Rita. Sales skyrocketed.
She used her money to start other subscription services: whisky-of-the-month, miniskirt-of-the-month. What had started out as an online quiz morphed into something larger and more complex: a search engine that searched the customer. It had tapped into a pent-up demand. People loved acquiring material goods but they hated making decisions. Rita wasn’t just selling nail polish or whisky or miniskirts, she was selling freedom from choice.
And it was just code, really. She was able to adapt parts of it for use in her own life, to mixed results. She hoped her stock-picking software would take her from millionaire to billionaire, but instead her investments stalled out. Her meal planning software did help her lose five pounds, but this wasn’t enough to get her down to a size two.