STET was definitely a bit confusing for me. At first, I thought STET was an AI that engineers were developing to help edit a story. I figured they were having a conversation while editing. Turns out STET means “let it stand” during a proofreading session and is a disregard for someone’s edit. Once I got over that confusing hurdle, I realized that the story was in the foot notes and article headlines and that it was about AI and self-driving cars.
STET shows the birth and growth of AI, their implementation into cars and their effects on humanity and Anna personally. The footnotes have links to AI being created, then accepted into cars and then people who were killed because of the self-driving cars. Anna definitely wants to debate about the ethics of allowing self-driving cars to be on the street and if they have consciousness and can they be held responsible for the deaths for the people killed by these cars.
There is also the personal aspect of this story. Anna is telling this story to, at least partly, vent about the death of her daughter who was hit by a self-driving car. Anna slowly begins to lose her cool as the footnotes go on. She constantly rejects the edits by “Ed” the editor and you can feel her annoyance and anger at both the AI and the editor. There’s drama and history between them and it is seeping into the short story. I think Anna on some level blames the editor for her daughter’s death. Maybe the editor was in the car. She definitely is upset with the editor for not attending her daughter’s funeral.
At the core of this story are the ethics of allowing AI in cars and giving them choice. Can you blame the car? Can you blame the AI? Can you blame the humans? These are the questions the short story is asking. My opinion is that since all of this technology is man-made or man-controlled, humans are to blame for every fault technology has and every mistake technology makes.