Chat with sexbots

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Artificial intelligence (AI), she says, has started ‘evolving for its own benefit, fed by our phones, drones and CCTV’.It’s not a ‘super-intelligent’ machine that we should worry about, but ‘the hardware, software and data we willingly add to every day’.And now we’ve built machines that can copy, combine, vary and select ‘enormous quantities of information with high fidelity far beyond the capacity [sic] of the human brain’.These third replicators, we’re told, are techno-memes, or temes; and while our brains are just ‘billions of interconnected neurons’, AI is emerging ‘with gazillions of interconnections’, and ‘we need to worry right now’. Because AI ‘is already evolving for its own benefit – not ours.It doesn’t matter that, at 5.1 per cent, unemployment in the US is at a seven-year low. James Woudhuysen is editor of Big Potatoes: the London Manifesto for Innovation. James will be speaking at the sessions ‘New wars, new technology’ and ‘Welcome to the Drone Age?It doesn’t matter that investment (automation included) is weak throughout the West, that the cash hoarded by IT companies speaks volumes about their unwillingness to take robots much further, that the 225,000 robots sold worldwide in 2014 merely match the number of new jobs typically created in the US in just one month. In go-ahead Britain, the government has pledged £150million to ridding the country of ‘notspots’, or places where mobile networks fail to operate – yet so far, a grand total of eight new masts have been built. ’ at the Battle of Ideas festival in London on 17-18 October. For permission to republish spiked articles, please contact Viv Regan.And still the mass media go on publishing this rubbish.They have every right to; but we also have the duty not to believe them.

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First, we had replicator genes; then we had memes – when humans began to imitate each other and habits, skills, stories and technologies are copied, varied and selected.

Kathleen Richardson, a specialist in the ethics of robots at the University of De Montfort in Leicester, has attacked what’s described as a new generation of sex toys – robotic ones.

She’s even launched the Campaign Against Sex Robots, to protest their likely objectification and reinforcement of sex-role stereotypes. In a column for the Guardian, Plymouth University visiting professor Sue Blackmore argues that to programme IT-based machines to take ethical constraints into account when making decisions is fruitless, because such machines are already ‘beyond our control’.

On the other hand, robots, when they are not seducing us, are supposed to be taking our jobs.

It doesn’t matter that UK productivity has slipped even further towards the bottom of the developed world, as the use of immigrants, women and older people by far outweighs the deployment of new machines.

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