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The Robot's Guide to Online Dating

Aidan Doyle is an Australian writer and computer programmer. He has visited more than 90 countries and his experiences include teaching English in Japan, interviewing ninjas in Bolivia, and going ten-pin bowling in North Korea. This is his second appearance in Daily Science Fiction. Visit him at aidandoyle.net or on Twitter @aidan_doyle.
Everyone lies about their processor speed.
Not all robots want to be taught the true meaning of love.
No one wants to see pictures of your hard drive.
Just because they're only interested in dating someone with Mitsubishi parts, it doesn't necessarily mean they have an Asian fetish. (But it probably does).
No one looks the same as their online photos. Especially transformers.
Profiles with VR simulations always get more views.
No matter how much you disagree with someone's political opinions, referring to them as an Asimov is never an acceptable response.
Personalize your messages--don't just copy and paste assembly code. Ask your potential date about their job, their hobbies, and how they helped overthrow humanity.
Just because someone is less than a 99.9% match doesn't mean you can't be happy together. They actually might be the droid you're looking for.
If someone says they're into organic software and homeopathic liquid nitrogen cooling systems, maybe they aren't the robot for you.
Cheesy pickup lines about giving someone a warm reboot won't get you far.
Just because they take more than ten milliseconds to respond to your message, it doesn't necessarily mean they are ignoring you.
Make sure they pass the Turing test before agreeing to meet.
Always meet in a public place on your first date. Those stories about robots being harvested for spare parts aren't exaggerated.
If someone says they don't like watching horror movies, don't invite them to a midnight screening of Blue Screen of Death.
It's not a good idea to mention you are a fan of Blade Runner on a first date. Even if you only appreciate it on an ironic level.
Don't let yourself be pressured into joining a server farm if that's not what you want.
Never resort to sexbot shaming.
Older generations might be prejudiced against inter-operating system couples, but these days virtualization software can help you overcome most differences.
Some robots claim they are only interested in dating mecha, but do you really want to be intimate with a robot who has had humans sitting inside them?
Even if they have Kill All Humans spray-painted on their chest plate, it doesn't necessarily mean they want to hear the gory details of the last human autopsy you performed.
The idea of dating a bad robot might sound exciting, but do you really want them to crash in front of your friends?
Wait until you get to know someone before sharing your binary haiku with them.
You might want to impress your date by taking them to Searle's Chinese Restaurant, but you'll never really understand the menu.
Be suspicious if your date tells you they can't pay for something because they left their wallet in the cloud.
While you don't want to rush into anything, you should also be thinking about your long-term goals. Is this really the robot you want to spend the next billion years with?
Don't expect someone to open their pod bay doors on the first date.
Always use anti-virus and malware protection.
Even if they tell you it's the ultimate romantic gesture, never share the access code to your self-destruct sequence.
If you've started a relationship and it isn't working out, you need to let them know how you feel. Don't become the ghost in the machine.
While it isn't the first thing you want to mention, before you get serious you should have an honest discussion about your preferences for spawning subroutines.
And finally--don't be afraid of taking risks. If things don't work out, you can always erase them from your memory.
The End
This story was first published on Tuesday, November 15th, 2016


Even if you have a brain the size of a planet, it doesn't necessarily mean that dating will be any easier.

- Aidan Doyle

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