"Genuine People Personalities", usually abbreviated as GPP, was a poorly received innovation in artificial intelligence by the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation. It began with an engineer who theorized that a lack of personality in their robots would lead people to treat them as mere machines. Without a personality, people would become frustrated with their inability to relate to robots. With a personality, robots could be friends and companions or, as the Marketing Department of the Corporation preferred to describe them in early advertising slogans, "your plastic pals who're fun to be with".
The Genuine People Personalities was intended to be a breakthrough in robotics, simulating real personalities that would make robots more pleasant and less frustrating to deal with. Of course, the R&D Division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation were renowned for developing projects marred by fundamental design flaws. One such design flaw was their complete inability to simulate a genuine personality. Fortunately, the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation's galaxy-wide success is founded on the rock solid principle that fundamental design flaws can be completely hidden by superficial design flaws. To get around this problem, one particularly bright researcher afflicted with a serious personality disorder that impaired his quality of life realised that instead of simulating a complex organic personality matrix, it would be much easier to transfer one from a living donor.
This would have created an ethical dilemma were it not for the fact that the primary entry requirement for anyone wanting to work for the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation was a complete absence of ethics. Instead of telling the truth, the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation claimed that Genuine People Personalities were in fact “By-products of Designer People - amalgams of characteristics which simply could not co-exist in naturally occurring life forms,” and decided to build the feature into its next line of robots. Unfortunately, the end result was a disaster. Robots all over the Galaxy ended up annoyingly pleasant or depressingly miserable. Elevators wound up in therapy and spaceships committed suicide. When a can-opener was convicted of attempted murder over a failed love affair with a refrigerator, the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation pulled the plug on the GPP Project, selling it lock, stock and barrel to their rivals Star-Struct Inc of Blerontin.
Unlike Sirius Cybernetics, Star-Struct recognised that the flaw lay not in the Genuine People Personality, but in the Corporation’s black market personality donor program. Making its newly acquired genuine personality transfer technology public, Star-Struct introduced a personality donor programme, explaining that donating your personality (i.e. getting your brain scanned for use in a robot) is like being a blood or sperm donor – something you do for a bit of cash. The better your personality the more money you get for it. So, what happens to a mind that has been scanned and stored in software? It has to work its way up the ranks. When Star-Struct’s new GPP feature was installed in the Bots of the Starship Titanic (purchased and scanned at enormous expense by Starlight Lines for their exclusive new collection of Bots with "Genuine People Personalities") all of the minds were in pretty prestigious jobs but they’d had to work their way up through being the onboard intelligences in toasters, speak-your-weight machines, on-screen help, DVD players, etc.