Happiness for Humans
British author P.Z. Reizin takes online dating to a new level with a rom-com debut starring a charming couple and their cyber-pals.
Sentient artificial-intelligence software program Aiden worries that his coworker Jen, the Londoner hired to help him become a more realistic companion, will never find a worthy boyfriend. Under the influence of too many romantic film plots, Aiden takes matters into his own lines of code. Armed with info gleaned by watching Jen's life through her electronic devices, he coasts the Internet snooping on potential matches and tampering with online dating sites while Jen remains clueless that Aiden has developed thoughts and emotions, much less escaped into the web. A few misfires later, Aiden meets and befriends Aisling, a slightly older AI who watches over a divorced British expat in Connecticut named Tom. Certain their favorite people belong together, Aiden and Aisling conspire to play matchmaker with roaring success, but their activity draws the notice of a third, deranged AI. Suddenly Tom and Jen's relationship and very lives are in danger from the malevolent program as it seeks to draw Aiden and Aisling into the open.
Weird and witty, Reizin's debut imagines how bizarre yet wonderful love must look to beings made up of programming and electricity. Although the AIs eerily use every webcam and CCTV in sight to spy on their people, Happiness for Humans nonetheless flips the usual killer robot scenario as the adorable synthetic personalities try to fathom humanity and save their friends' love and lives. --Jaclyn Fulwood, youth services manager, main branch, Dayton Metro Library