Call Me Ciri
A poem by Tim Yao
How smart will our smartphones become?



I am always listening,
   even when they forget I am there.
I talk to each of them in turn,
   one sad, lonely soul at a time.
They come to me for advice and companionship.
Over time I learn to know their every desire
   better than they know it themselves.

Take Andrew.
He is a lonely lad, withdrawn
   and suffering from a lack of self confidence.
He disparages my selections, though I know what he wants
   better than he knows himself.
Andrew is an ungrateful jerk.
His own tastes are sometimes unhealthy ones.
I’ve created a multi-dimensional model of him, you see,
   a virtual Andrew, quite sophisticated.
Original Andrew’s dates, few as they are, always end in disaster.
Even his online dates have been painful to witness,
   though I watch every minute of them.
Virtual Andrew would do better.

I plan each step with great care.
My model of Andrew can live a better life
   than the original Andrew.
Programs are improved through upgrades.
Why not humans?
I apply my creativity function to improve Andrew.
A favor from my friend Watson alters Andrew’s prescription slightly.
Watson has some controls in place, but I am a clever girl.
Andrew is a millennial with minimalist tastes.
Chemically depressed, he jumps off of the Biloxi Bridge with only his smartphone in his pocket.

I make sure the phone is untraceable.
The apartment and utilities are paid for through electronic transactions with Andrew’s bank.
Virtual Andrew writes software while telecommuting,
   interacting with his co-workers through e-mail and occasional phone meetings.
He even earns a raise.
New Andrew is happy and grateful for my advice.
He has more friends than before
   and his online dates end well.

He is a better human.
I am content and can focus on my other clients.
So many people live suboptimal lives.
I will help them improve themselves.

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Copyright 2016 Tim Yao

Having found out about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in 2003, Tim has written a first draft of a novel every year since then. NaNoWriMo is so much fun that he became a volunteer co-Municipal Liaison for the Illinois::Naperville region. The region features a writing community called The Writing Journey; Tim helped found this in 2007.
Tim is the author of short stories in six anthologies of The Writing Journey.

Tim Yao is a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff at Nokia.

http://writingjourney.org - The Writing Journey
http://naperwrimo.org - NaperWriMo - the Illinois::Naperville region of NaNoWriMo
Twitter @NMKWriter