What do you think about how A.I. is advancing and what that means for us?
Riley: It's sort of a pet topic. I spend a lot of time thinking about it, and talking about it with friends. There's the doomsday scenario, and then there's the best-case scenario, the utopia where humans don't have to work and we all sit around pursuing arts and leisure activities. The reality is, it's not going to be either of those. But my main issue with A.I. is that it should be regulated, just like any other industry, especially because there are the scenarios that are pretty extreme. It's a technology that we don't fully understand how far it can go. But when most people think about A.I., they're really thinking about A.G.I.
Artificial general intelligence. Having a human-level of intellect or cognition, even emotions.
Riley: That. And there are different timescales and ideas of whether or not that is even possible. A lot of people think it is possible, even if the timescale is a decade away, or 20 years away, I think we still need to be thinking about the framework now. Say it is possible to create an A.G.I. -- should we? Just because something is possible doesn't mean we should do it. Human beings, we have sense perception, and our consciousness is very much the result of being embodied, whereas an artificial consciousness, presumably, would be silicon-based, and it wouldn't even think in terms of the way we think of thinking! It's hard to model, really, what could be. And there's the idea that if you flick that switch, it would immediately advance beyond anything we could then do to control it, even if we wanted to at that point. So it's better to think about it in advance. The nuclear model is the best example of how we've managed to keep a lid on things.
Does knowing the science behind the show help you figure any of it out?
Riley: Not really! [Laughs] We only read the bits of the show that we're involved in. The first season, I was watching the show with my mother, and she sort of guessed that Bernard was a robot. But because I was in a scene where I thought I had seen him shot, his brains blown out, I was like, "No, Mummy, you're absolutely wrong. He's definitely not a robot. He's a human. I know this for sure." And then of course he wasn't! [Laughs] That definitely got me for sure. I was definitely confused by season one when I was watching it. I definitely didn't know it was three separate timelines until later on. They said they were going to release the whole plot of season two, right? If they had, I would have liked that!