For those of you that haven’t seen Westworld yet, it will probably make sense to give you a quick spoiler free run down. The basics are that Anthony Hopkins’ character has created a world populated by robots that look exactly like humans.
You enter as some form of cowboy and the world is set in that background. With the premise being you can pretty much do what you like. You can shoot who you like without being killed. You can play off any kind of story line or you can frequent one of the bars and sleep with one of Thandie Newton’s AI prostitutes. Yes that’s right; you can have sex with robots!
Artificial Intelligence and Robots
How far away are we really though from fully walking talking life-like robots that can be used in such ways?
In a 2015 piece for the Telegraph, Ex Machina consultant and geneticist Adam Rutherford suggested that truly intelligent, truly sentient robots are still a long way off.
“Human-level consciousness is unlikely to be realized in the immediate future, largely because it isn’t the main aim of AI research,” he wrote. “The idea of the singularity, the point at which AI surpasses all levels of human consciousness, is generally an area for armchair speculation. Mostly scientists are building intelligent systems for specific functions. When Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov at chess in 1997, it was a landmark in machine intelligence. But Deep Blue couldn’t play a single round of noughts and crosses.”
Stories by Onlim #2
In our second instalment of Stories by Onlim we look at several sides of this story. We speak to Matt, CEO of RealDoll. He thinks that we could have sex robots on the market by 2017. Not quite to the level of Westworld but in an interview with the Telegraph he said the new dolls: ‘will feature “convincing artificial intelligence” and “a robotic head that can blink and open and close its mouth”, which will be attached to one of the company’s existing artificial bodies.’
Matt has been creating dolls since 1997 and it comes from a truly nice place. Hhowever we also caught up with Kathleen who runs the campaign against sex robotics.
Kathleen truly believes this is another arm of the sex slave trade, and doesn’t believe that something like Westworld will ever happen!
Either way it is currently fictional (and a brilliant show). But the consensus is we are still a little way from having robotics that can function as humans. Let alone having enough data to have them process emotions.
Check out all sides of the story in Episode 2 of Stories by Onlim:
Get involved in the conversation, tweet us @onlim_com and use the #stories.
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Also have a look at the stories from our first podcast episode: