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"Science fiction operates a little bit like science itself, in principle. You've got thousands of people exploring ideas, putting forth their own hypotheses. Most of them are dead wrong; a few stand the test of time; everything looks kind of quaint in hind"
- Peter Watts

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

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.

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.

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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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