Challenge #03685-J032: Your Plastic Pal...

"I have my best friend in my pocket!"

They press a button on their wrist unit, and a small holograph showed smiling and saying hello.

"Is that an AI?"

"Yep! Their name is KIP, and we've been best friends since we met when I was 8. And we still are!" -- Anon Guest

Kindly Interactive Pal was made for children in remote vessels or settlements, so they would not feel lonely. Kids could personalise them. They were meant to be put away or 'retired' when the child grew up and could more easily participate in adult interactions.

The makers of KIP never anticipated Humans.

Humanity spread their pack-bonding wherever they went. They named, felt affection for, and mourned inanimate objects. When faced with an AI ally of cusp cogniscence, the Humans were more likely than not to do anything they could to keep their artificial friend with them.

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