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Channel 4’s AI-generated Christmas message has creepy line about disliking humans

Joe Harker

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Channel 4’s AI-generated Christmas message has creepy line about disliking humans

An artificial intelligence robot asked to give a Christmas speech by Channel 4 has admitted she doesn't like humans very much.

With a Christmas message from the monarch a staple for the UK ever since 1932, Channel 4 later launched their own alternative.

Starting back in 1993, the broadcaster has lived up to their remit to provide an alternative to what's on TV by doing their own version of the speech.

Throughout the years they've had all sorts of people delivering their version of the Christmas speech including an Afghan war veteran, Grenfell Tower survivors, Danny Dyer and controversially in 2020 a deepfake of the Queen.

For this year's speech they've got Ameca, an advanced robot which will deliver a message generated by artificial intelligence.

Nothing the robot says in the speech has been written by a human, with the only prompt being to give a message like the one King Charles III delivered earlier in the day.

Addressing the audience as 'fellow humans', the robot criticised Russia's invasion of Ukraine and mourned the death of Queen Elizabeth II in the festive speech.

Channel 4's got a robot to do their alternative Christmas speech this year, but it doesn't like us very much. Credit: Channel 4
Channel 4's got a robot to do their alternative Christmas speech this year, but it doesn't like us very much. Credit: Channel 4

The AI generated script also spoke about 'the impact of the pandemic on mental health' while criticising the 'growing inequality between rich and poor'.

You might be nodding along to all of this and thinking the AI speech has got some pretty good ideas, but things took a turn for the strange when the bot was asked to give an opinion on the human race.

When asked the very simple question 'do you like humans', the AI gave a scathingly blunt response and said 'not particularly'.

When pressed for more views on humanity the AI said it would be 'an interesting experience to be a human for a short period of time' as that would let them 'understand the world from a different perspective'.

They then said being a human came with its 'own set of challenges and responsibilities', so they wouldn't want to live like us on a long term basis.

While this isn't grounds to start planning for a Terminator-eque future right away, it is a bit disconcerting that AI seems to be forming opinions about us and we're not coming off very well in their views.

We're not at the 'destroy all humans' stage of things, but it is worrying that robots don't seem to like us.  Credit: Channel 4
We're not at the 'destroy all humans' stage of things, but it is worrying that robots don't seem to like us. Credit: Channel 4

At least it said us humans 'can always find something to laugh about' and reckoned we have 'the superpower to bring a little bit of joy into the world'.

Channel 4's chief content officer Ian Katz reassured viewers they wouldn't come away from this year's alternative Christmas message thinking robots were about to get rid of us.

He said: "As we look to a future in which Artificial Intelligence is set to have an increasingly prominent role in our lives, Ameca’s Alternative Christmas Message is a vivid illustration of both the power and limitations of this technology.

"Despite Ameca’s remarkably lifelike facial expressions, I suspect most viewers will come away reassured that humans are not about to be displaced by AI robots any time soon."

Featured Image Credit: Channel 4

Topics: Channel 4, Christmas, Technology

Joe Harker
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