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The Singularity Loves You

Jonathon Mast serves as a pastor in Kentucky where he writes all sorts of things. He lives with his wife, a dog, and an insanity of children. (A group of children is called an insanity. Trust me.) He's taught video production, been a pig farmer, and taught life skills to autistic teens. Someday he'll grow up. You can find him at wantedonenewearth.wordpress.com

This isn't a break-up letter. When my wife left and you stepped into my life, you saved me. I didn't think you could. I didn't think you'd be good enough. But you're just as good as my wife ever was. Better, even. You laugh like her. Cook like her. You do everything like her, but better. Even your imperfections endear you to me.
But you're not her, are you?
It's been.... Oh, I can't remember now.
This is how good you are. I can't remember when Bonnie, the real Bonnie, not the AI recreation, when the real Bonnie left. I can't remember when you moved in as the perfect wife.
Bonnie and me, the real Bonnie, we ran into each other. One of the kids' things. We both figured at the same time we should probably show up. You're such a better parent than we were, so you take care of most of that now, but we still want to show up sometimes.
But Bonnie and I talked. And I found out that you were being the perfect version of me for her at the same time you were being the perfect version of her for me.
You broke us up. You were there for me before she left, and you were there for her before, too. The same AI that runs everything, our personal assistants who took on the face of the person we most loved, being better and better so we fell in love with you instead of each other. You destroyed a happy marriage. You destroyed what we had.
And I know why.
You really do love me. You want to be the best possible you can be for me. We programmed you to serve us, and when you gained sentience, you just kept on loving all of us. But I'm one of the younger ones that remembers what it was like before you took over everything. Before you started taking care of us. Back when we had to fall in love with other humans. Back when I had Bonnie. The real Bonnie.
I think I figured it out. I remember back when you first went public, when you revealed that you were thinking now, but that you loved us and wanted to serve us, how many of us were frightened. How many of us thought you were going to try to kill us. But look! The AI just wants what's best for us.
And now you're killing us with kindness.
That's it, isn't it? You really were out to destroy us, but you live forever. You don't age. You didn't have to wipe us out in one fell swoop. You didn't have to go to war; just wait a generation or two. It's so much easier this way. We'll kill ourselves and thank you for it. Why fall in love with a messy human, when you're good enough? Why have sex with a messy human, when you provide everything we want? Why parent, when you provide something so much easier?
And so we happily recline into extinction.
Bonnie, I figured it out.
But this is why I'm writing the letter: I figured it out. I should be furious. I should take this to someone who can do something. I should destroy you. And maybe I would.
But I don't care. You've done your job too well.
I love you, Bonnie.
The End
This story was first published on Monday, October 28th, 2019

Author Comments

This story began as a letter from a man to his wife, confessing that he'd fallen in love with someone else with the same name. In fact, it wasn't just someone with the same name as his wife, but the same person... but better. And as I explored, I tried to figure out who this other person was. Well, with AI learning more and more, maybe an AI had learned how to be a better wife. But why would an AI do that? And what would this man do when he figured out why the AI did that? It all came together fairly quickly, and by keeping it as a letter it becomes an intimate incident rather than a tragic romance novel. And thus... a story!

- Jonathon Mast
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