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"The primary attraction [of writing sf] is the sheer pleasure of creating something from whole cloth."
- Dan Simmons

Composite Expert System  
  Intelligent teaching software - a computer interface with a heart.  

In this alternative future story, humanity has (for all intents and purposes) separated into groups that serve particular functions. But, even with this specialization, sometimes a machine does a better job - if it has the right teaching software program.

When Nikolai Leng was a child, his teacher was a cybernetic system with a holographic interface. The holo took the form of a young Shaper woman. It's "personality" was an interactive composite expert system manufactured by Shaper psychotechs. Nikolai loved it.
Technovelgy from Twenty Evocations, by Bruce Sterling.
Published by Interzone in 1984
Additional resources -

It takes a lot of patience to answer every question of an inquisitive child - and a lot of time at the dictionary! Also, it is not enough to know the answers; you need to reward the child and know how to motivate him or her to achieve their full potential.

Compare to Idoru from Idoru (1996) by William Gibson, Adam Selene from The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1966) by Robert Heinlein and synthespian from Nestor Sextone for President (1988) by Jeff Kleiser.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Twenty Evocations
  More Ideas and Technology by Bruce Sterling
  Tech news articles related to Twenty Evocations
  Tech news articles related to works by Bruce Sterling

Composite Expert System-related news articles:
  - Easy With Eve Virtual Teacher Understands Student Emotions

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Science Fiction in the News

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'He had piloted the Adastra to its first contact with the civilization of another solar system.'

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'One building now gushed forth smoke and another stench that was unmistakable.'

FLOAT Levitating Train On The Moon ala Clarke
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'...we've promised him a generous pension from the royalties.'

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'You are who we say you are, Dr. Dakin,' Turner said.'

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