Author : Eva Schultz

To: John (
From: Alison (
August 23, 2079 at 9:14 p.m.

Dear John:

I don’t know how to do this except to just come out and say it. I’m so sorry, but it’s time for us to break up. I’ve met someone. He’s new to the security team at my office complex, and we have so much in common. I’m really excited about where this could be headed.

Please don’t think that this is about anything you did. It’s just that, over time, it’s really begun to sink in for me – how hard it is to make a human/robot relationship work. I hope you don’t think worse of me for saying that.

I don’t know how you feel about us, but I guess that’s the problem. I just don’t know how to relate to you. Please try to forgive me. I don’t mean to hurt you. A little part of me will always love you.


Attachment: GS4.2.exe

To: Kelly (
From: Johnny (
August 23, 2079 at 9:22 p.m.

Dear Kelly:

I just got the breakup email from Alison. Even though I knew it was coming, it was still a little weird to be broken up with by a Companionbot. But you were right. I’m glad I reprogrammed her instead of just shutting her down.

I uploaded some basic admin assistant skills to her mainframe and got her assigned to a local office complex so she’ll have something to do. They have a robotic security staff, so I redirected her affection subroutine so she can even date again. I guess that’s pretty sappy of me, but it’s nice to think that she’ll be out there in the world, happy, and she’ll think it was her own idea.

I still can’t believe you took a chance on a guy with a synthetic girlfriend. I’m really lucky to be with you. I love you.


To: Alison Jeffries (
From: CompanionBot Customer Service (
August 24, 2079 at 9:34 a.m.

Dear Alison Jeffries:

Thank you for contacting CompanionBot regarding shutdown of your unit, John823X70. We are pleased that you chose CompanionBot for your artificial romance needs, and we hope that your relationship was fulfilling.

Our records indicate that you initiated Shutdown Subroutine GS4.2 via email transmission to your unit on Wednesday, August 23, at 9:14 p.m. and that the robot mindwipe was completed successfully at 9:23 p.m. Regarding your inquiry about the email that your John823X70 drafted during these final nine minutes, please be assured that CompanionBot breakup behavior is due entirely to breakup software programming and in no way reflects what your unit believed about you or felt toward you during your relationship.

Because early models were prone to agitation and emotional outbursts during shutdown procedures, we have installed a breakup software patch. While this software allows the robot to power down and mindwipe without triggering a panic response, it does require us to impose an alternate understanding of reality during the 8-12 minute shutdown process.

We apologize for any discomfort you experienced in reading your John823X70’s final email draft. Thank you for contacting CompanionBot. We wish you love, but we promise you companionship™.

Kelly, CompanionBot Customer Service