Observations on the Emotions of Science

An essay by Dr. Nisha Gupta, as provided by Tamoha Sengupta
Art by Leigh Legler

Today, at breakfast, my sister and I had another fight over the old topic.

“Your problem, Nisha, is that you think about logic too intensely. Life is not numbers and codes and formulas, you know. It has emotions.” Saying this, she stormed off, her breakfast unfinished.

I gulped down my coffee and headed straight for my lab, where Amy was waiting. I pushed the morning argument from my mind. Until now, my little android had been a success in my food delivery service. Of course, a food delivery service was nothing new, seeing as people had less time to prepare their lunch nowadays and often left for their offices without them.

But my business came with a twist. Whatever Nisha said, science had helped a lot of people. My service was now inter-city, with Amy delivering food to people even at the far north of the state, 600 kilometers away, in a matter of minutes. I planned on improving Amy’s speed a little more, so that I could extend my services to inter-state.

I opened my laptop and typed in a few commands, activating Amy. There was a small beep and then Amy spoke.

“Good morning, Dr. Nisha.”

I smiled at my business partner. “Good morning to you too, Amy. Ready for another day?”

“Waiting to receive my orders, Doctor,” she said.

“All right, let’s see.” I turned back to my laptop, opened my customer page, and scanned the contents.

“Fifteen orders from Kolkata and three from Siliguri–our usual customers. Usual dishes. And oh–look Amy!” My eyes widened as my heart leapt with joy. “We have a new customer–ordering chapattis and pickle. I’ll feed his address into your program.”

“That’s nice. I’ll get the food ready right away.” Amy rolled out in her usual monotone and walked away to the kitchen I had built for her.

Observations on the Emotions of Science

I watched her go, remembering Rati’s reaction, when I had first shown Amy to her. My sister had taken one look at the android–who resembled my curly-haired, dark-eyed doll from childhood–and had given me a scowl.

To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Summer 2016 collection.

Dr. Nisha Gupta obtained her PhD from University of Robotics. She has published dozens of papers on the future of robots and humankind together. She lives in Kolkata, India, with her strict but loving sister. Her fascination with robots coupled with her love for people led her to create Amy. She prefers a quiet life, working behind the scene to create more robots to make people’s life easier.

Tamoha Sengupta lives in India, but is happy to have visited many places on Earth and beyond at the expense of words.  She is a fresh graduate in engineering. When she is not writing, she spends most of her time reading or watching anime. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Daily Science Fiction, Acidic Fiction, and T. Gene Davis’s Speculative Blog. She tweets at @sengupta_tamoha.

Leigh’s professional title is “illustrator,” but that’s just a nice word for “monster-maker,” in this case. More information about them can be found at http://leighlegler.carbonmade.com/.

“Observations on the Emotions of Science” is © 2016 Tamoha Sengupta.
Art accompanying story is © 2016 Leigh Legler.

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