What sci fi story had an assistant trapped in a prof's simluation?
November 16, 2013 7:49 PM   Subscribe

I remember reading a seminal short story notable for raising ethical issues about simulated consciousness, but I can't recall the title or author. I believe a group of researchers were trapped in the simulation, being used to draft papers for the Professor.

I've been Googling different combinations of sci fi, professor, research assistant, job, simulation, slavery, and ethics. Even scoured a few lists on Wikipedia and TV Tropes, but no luck yet. I'm sure some die hard sci fi fans out there *just know*...

Thanks in advance.
posted by brownbat to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This? https://sites.google.com/site/asenselessconversation/
posted by whistle pig at 7:56 PM on November 16, 2013

Sorry whistle pig, a little longer. More details are coming back to me, though my mind might have filled some fake ones in the mix: I believe there was a female protagonist, and she was testing or volunteering for a project or job on some kind of a campus, then she starts seeing evidence of some strange or mysterious occurrences. She and a coworker begin to investigate, and find students working to solve problems in a building she wasn't originally supposed to access. Some of the strange occurrences she noticed, notes that referenced her childhood, were actually sent by herself from previous cycles of the program.
posted by brownbat at 8:04 PM on November 16, 2013

That sounds like Vernor Vinge's "The Cookie Monster."
posted by Monsieur Caution at 8:16 PM on November 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

Almost certainly Vinge. The character we first meet is a girl on her "first" day on the job where she is supposed to take the time to actually solve her customer's problems - "take an hour, heck, take all day to do it - customer satisfaction is very important to us!" Of course, there's some minor flaw where she and her coworkers realize every day is the first day.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 2:28 AM on November 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Here is The Cookie Monster in its entirety.
posted by arnicae at 8:01 AM on November 17, 2013

Whoops, not in its entirity - looks like just the first half.
posted by arnicae at 8:15 AM on November 17, 2013

If you liked that story, you might like Fred Pohl's story The Tunnel Under the World, which has a similar premise.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:16 AM on November 18, 2013

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