"The Lifecycle of Software Objects" is a fun and thought-provoking novella that should captivate anyone who is interested in artificial intelligence, virtual worlds, or robots. A near fiction story by Ted Chiang about a young zookeeper who is hired to help develop a line of new digital pets in a virtual world. Things are going swimmingly until the virtual creatures start to take on unforeseen behaviors and personalities...
The story reminded me of my childhood fantasies to own my own robot, and later to have an Aibo robot dog. It's obvious that as soon as technology develops far enough, we will create electronic lifeforms to serve us, perhaps completely digital at first, but eventually in the physical world. Chiang paints a realistic picture of how digital characters might come to have their own motivations, feelings and personalities.
Already sold out of the print version, you can head to the publisher's website to it read online for free.
[Hattip, New World Notes]