Pretty sure I read this online, for free, and not in a paper book collection. I would have read it in the last 10 years, and based on the technologies in the story, it would have been written within that time-frame as well.

It involves a woman who is lonely and (possibly convinced by friends) decides to purchase a boyfriend AI. At first she is happy with him as he suits her tastes very well, but she gradually becomes bored with him because he is mentally and emotionally "flat" / 2D. This is because all AIs legally sold have mental "locks" on them that prevent them from developing past a certain complexity.

The woman decides to get these mental blocks removed from the AI via the black market, so that the boyfriend will be more mentally complex and thus fulfilling to be around. I believe that the black market operator warns her that she may have to commit some time to "teach" the AI, and possibly warns her about the ethical ramifications of abandoning the unlocked AI if she doesn't have the commitment level to deal with it.

The woman commits to "raising" the unlocked AI and once it has matured, she is mostly happy with its more realistically unpredictable human nature.

The AI begins to behave more unpredictably but the woman is too attached to him to get rid of him, although if I recall correctly she considers it. Eventually he pressures her into doing more and more things outside of her comfort zone, including purchasing some sort of teledildonic bodysuit so that the male AI can interact with her sexually in the physical world.

Towards the very end, if memory serves, the perspective shifts from the woman to the AI, and it becomes apparent that he has some rather sinister intentions. What these are I cannot recall, but they were possibly something like taking over her body via a mind download.

  • Was the story Indian?
    – Valorum
    Feb 16, 2014 at 16:12
  • @Richard if you mean written in a language other than English, no.
    – Wingman4l7
    Feb 16, 2014 at 16:14
  • No, I meant based in India.
    – Valorum
    Feb 16, 2014 at 16:15
  • @Richard I don't think so. I don't recall any specific descriptions in the story about the character's society or culture.
    – Wingman4l7
    Feb 16, 2014 at 16:17

2 Answers 2


Sounds like it might be The Perfect Man by Lauren McLaughlin from 2006, published online at Salon.

"Design-your-own boyfriends lack that certain something. Until they don't."

  • That's exactly it, well done! I'll award the bounty to you as soon as it unlocks!
    – Wingman4l7
    Feb 17, 2014 at 1:32

That has some similarities with "The Lifecycle of Software Objects" by Ted Chiang. You can check out the link and decide for yourself.

  • Sorry, it's definitely not that story -- I've read it.
    – Wingman4l7
    Feb 16, 2014 at 18:17

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