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‘HUMANOIDS’ DESCEND ON LONDON TO HIGHLIGHT BRITS’ FEAR OF AI

A ‘humanoid’ robot invasion descends on the capital as new research reveals that Brits are paranoid about androids…

New research reveals that 58% of Brits are worried about the impact robots will have on society in the future, with 41% believing they will destroy humanity as we know it. The concerns echo those made by Stephen Hawking and inventor Elon Musk, who previously described artificial intelligence (AI) technology as our ‘biggest existential threat’.

The research – commissioned to launch new flagship JJ Abrams drama, Westworld, which premieres on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV on Tuesday 4 October 2016 – found that one in seven of us (14%) think we will encounter human-like robots on a day-to-day basis within 10 years, and highlights real concerns that Brits have over developments in AI.

One in seven of us think we will encounter human-like robots on a day-to-day basis within 10 years

These include worries about the dangers of robot malfunctions (45%) and even fears that we will end up with a kind of dystopian future envisaged in films like Terminator, with a third (35%) believing robots will evolve beyond our understanding and take control of society.

To celebraste the premiere of Westworld on 4 October, leading body artist Emma Fey created an army of 'humanoids' and released them onto the streets of London

To celebrate the premiere of Westworld on 4 October, leading body artist Emma Fey created an army of ‘humanoids’ and released them onto the streets of London

‘The robotics community has certainly been considering the idea that robots will be walking among us, and it’s just a matter of when really,’ said Professor Noel Sharkey, Emeritus Professor of AI and Robotics University of Sheffield. ‘We are likely to see robots integrated into society in the near future as shop assistants, receptionists, doctors, bar tenders and also as carers for our elderly and children.

‘It’ll all happen very gradually over the next 20 to 30 years until we don’t even notice they’re among us. I don’t think there’s anything to be concerned about but if they come to look too human-like, they could be used to deceive us in many ways.’

It’ll all happen very gradually over the next 20 to 30 years until we don’t even notice they’re among us

Westworld is the ultimate premium travel destination – a futuristic park that offers visitors a no-holds-barred experience in the Old West, where guests can live out their wildest fantasies and their darkest desires without consequence, helped by AI staff. The series questions what it means to be a slave to someone else’s dreams and follows the hosts’ violent awakening into consciousness. As they begin to question the nature of their reality the park descends into chaos…

Westworld is produced by JJ Abrams, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy and features an all-star cast including Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Thandie Newton, James Marsden and Evan Rachel Wood. The 10-part series was inspired by Michael Crichton’s 1973 original cult film.

 

'Humanoids' take over the capital as Westworld premieres on Sky Atlantic on 4 October

‘Humanoids’ take over the capital

With over one in three Brits (39%) expecting human-like robots to be part of everyday life within 25 years, an army of Westworld ‘humanoids’ descended on London sights today to highlight what this reality might be like.

Leading body artist Emma Fay led a team of 10 to create the unique humanoid look, with each model taking six hours to create – a total of 120 hours, or the equivalent of five whole days.

Men were nearly twice as likely to relish the prospect of living among androids, with a fifth (19%) claiming they were excited by the idea, while just a tenth of women (11%) took that view. Top concerns for both genders included robots interacting with their children (68%), losing out on jobs to uber-efficient humanoids (49%) and sharing our homes with artificially intelligent housemates (46%).

Top concerns for both genders included robots interacting with their children, losing out on jobs to uber-efficient humanoids and sharing our homes with AI housemates

A third of Brits (35%) believe theme parks that feature artificially intelligent, human-like robots will be a reality within the next 25 years, similar to the setting of the new JJ Abrams drama – and half (48%) would consider visiting a theme park of this nature.

Zai Bennett, director of Sky Atlantic, says: ‘AI and robotics are fast becoming part of everyday life, but our research demonstrates just how much we don’t know about this technology or where it could be heading. Sky Atlantic’s Westworld explores what life might be like if this became a reality. It looks at the future of AI – and the choices we make when we’re given free rein to live our lives without any consequences.’

 

Watch Sky Atlantic’s Westworld from Tuesday 4 October at 9pm on Sky or NOW TV

 

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