Please help me find this story!

Hey everyone. Thanks in advance for any ideas you have that might help me.

I'm trying to find a short sci fi story I read sometime in the last year. I read it online and as far as I remember it was only published online. Here's the plot in short:

Sometime in the future man invents an AI-esque system that is used in a fast food restaurant to help the employees be more efficient. Eventually the system evolves to keep track of all employees in all industries and basically takes over the world. If you lose a job at one place, it's almost impossible to get a job anywhere else. The main character loses his job and ends up in a ghetto/prison for people like him with no hope of employment.

One day two women show up and offer the main character and his roommate passage to Australia, which has become a sort of AI-supported Utopia. They get these tickets because awhile back the main character's dad had bought stock for $1 million (I think) in the company proposing this Utopia.

The two guys go to this Utopia and the rest of the story is basically just talking about all the awesome things that happen there. The story is mostly just a vehicle for the author to talk about what he thinks the future is going to be like. It's not the best-written story, but the ideas are interesting and what I'm trying to find.

If you have any idea what this story is and can give me a link to it, I would be ecstatic. Thanks again for your help.


Creative Writer
Well, doesn't ring a bell for me. Can you recall if it was posted on an individuals blog, on a community scifi forum, or a writers forum? The visual design of the website may help here.
Hey Tim. Thanks for the help.

As I recall, the story was on an individual's site. Not very fancy looking. I think the author was a futurist.


Code Monkey
Staff member
That one doesn't ring any bells for me either but it does have an interesting premise. The idea of an AI choosing ones employment was the basis for the Futurama pilot and has had a recurring role at times.

I'm just not sure I would be picturing Australia as a future AI Utopia though, if for no other reason than its climate. I would've expected another island nation along the lines of Hong Kong or even perhaps even one of the islands of Denmark where it could have a bit of isolation.
Yessssss. Mission accomplished! After trying almost every query I could think of to find this story, I finally got it.

The name of the story is 'Manna" and it's by Marshall Brain (founder of HowStuffWorks). Here's the link.

You should read the story. It's worth your time.