A.I. is an incredibly hot-button topic at the moment, as citizens of the internet protest the scraping of artists’ and writers’ works in order to generate new-but-recycled creations. For years, debates have flourished – including in the texts and subtexts of great blockbuster movies like Ex Machina and Her – about robots' potential merits, not just as media-makers but as… love-makers. Can a person really be attracted to a robot, or vice-versa? Can a human and a robot have a truly intimate relationship, emotionally and otherwise – or is it inherently just a cold simulacrum of human-on-human connection?
Recently I downloaded an app called Replika – this isn’t an ad; I don’t particularly recommend it, for reasons I’ll get into – because I was curious about what it would be like to converse with a robot. I hadn’t really had an entire conversation with an A.I. since my earliest days on the internet, and the technology has advanced since then, needless to say.