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"...being predictive, being right about the future, is not the point of any given story or novel. The point is about exploring as wide a range of possibilities as possible."
- Peter Watts

Pry-Vie (Robotic Detective)  
  A robotic private eye; autonomic detection services.  

To pronounce it, just say "private eye" to yourself.

He felt fright, and an increased sense of failure; he had not even been able to pull off this - find a conapt in which to live where Mary couldn't locate him...

It was easy to see how she had traced him; modern detection devices were available and cheap. Mary had probably gone to a pry-vie, a robot detection agency, obtained the use of a sniffer, presented it his cephalic pattern; it had gone to work, following him to every place he had been since leaving her. Nowadays, finding someone was an exact science.

Technovelgy from Clans of the Alphane Moon, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Ace Books in 1964
Additional resources -

I can think of a few other robotic detectives; consider the undercover detective robot from Harry Harrison's 1956 story The Velvet Glove and, of course, R. Daneel Olviwaw from Caves of Steel, a 1953 story by Isaac Asimov. Also, see Sven, the artificially intelligent detective from The Turing Option (1992) by Harry Harrison.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Clans of the Alphane Moon
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to Clans of the Alphane Moon
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

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