Sex Bots and Mortality and A.I., Oh My!

As Tesla develops its humanoid robot and Facebook — sorry, now Meta — rebrands to signal its focus on the metaverse and an even more virtual world, some might continue to wonder whether an Armageddon that will have artificial intelligence overpowering humans is a possibility. But the novelist Jeanette Winterson is more optimistic. Her more utopian view of an A.I.-enabled future depends on more compassionate technologies and the diversification of the leaders driving innovation, who she says are currently “rich guys with a lot of power, and we can’t depend on their benevolence.”

In this conversation, Kara and Winterson discuss her latest book, “12 Bytes,” and some of the ways that A.I. will change how we think, love and live. They delve into why Winterson thinks sex bots are the enemy of progress, Silicon Valley’s obsession with immortality and how A.I. might change how we die and grieve. And they discuss Mark Zuckerberg, with Winterson saying there’s “nothing in his history that suggests he can manage billions of people on the planet using his social media tool.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

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