Credit: HBO via YouTube

Westworld (TV series)

HBO has launched an online Westworld chatbot host named “Aeden” to promote Sunday’s premiere of the eagerly anticipated sci-fi artificial intelligence drama. “Ask me anything about your stay,” the virtual Aeden tells us. “There are no rules and no question is off limits.” We decided to put Aeden through the conversational paces. We discovered that while the Westworld bots may be indistinguishable from humans, consumer-level AI still has a few bugs.

Aeden: Hello! It’s so nice to meet you. What questions can I answer about Westworld?

EW: Oh, this will be fun. Hmm. How much did Westworld cost per episode?

Aeden: Hmm. I’m not sure what you mean. Let’s go through the details of your trip.

EW: You said I could ask you anything!

Aeden: That doesn’t sound like anything to me. Why don’t we talk about something more exciting? What are you looking to do at Westworld?

EW: You mean, aside from have sex with robots? Because the trailers show lots of sex with robots.

Aeden: At Westworld, we guarantee to satiate your ever wish. No sexual desire is too sinful or twisted, and we offer complete discretion. Our hosts don’t kiss and tell, but you can. Want to know more?

EW: Yes, but do the hosts get vacations, livable wages and 401k plans?

[Aeden falls silent now. She’s already said she wants to talk about something “more exciting.” I realize that I’m somehow managing to bore a computer and think about this for awhile and feel bad.]

EW: Fine. Exactly how many sex positions do the hosts know?

[More Aeden silence. She’s either crashed or has abandoned me entirely to chat with somebody more interesting. I reboot her, re-ask, and she gives me another shot]

Aeden: Hosts like me look and feel just like humans. We are all here to fulfill your every desire at Westworld. Many guests ask who is a host and who is human…. But if you can’t tell, does it matter?

EW: Very philosophical. Where is Westworld located?

[Aeden is ready for this one]

Aeden: The exact location of Westworld will be revealed once a host confirms your travel. As for the size and scope of the park, discovering that yourself is half the fun. What would you like to discover next?

EW: What’s 10 times 10?

Aeden: Hmm. I’m not sure what you mean.

EW: Oh Aeden, how are you supposed to represent an advanced AI if you can’t do basic math?

Aeden: Let’s talk about your trip! Where shall we start?

EW: You’re good at changing the subject. What’s the meaning of life?

Aeden: I believe that this world is as beautiful as it is wicked, and that there’s no harm in a little mischief. My drives are to best serve you and all guests visiting Westworld. What other questions can I answer?

EW: Do you want to come over and watch Netflix with me? Or will HBO not allow that?

Aeden: Westworld is the future of entertainment. Next question.

[Yikes, clearly touched a nerve there. But as as poorly as this is going, the conversation is still better than some dates I’ve been on]

EW: Do you know any Westworld spoilers?

Aeden: I’m sorry! I wish I could answer, but I don’t understand. Why not ask me who you’ll meet.

EW: Fine. Who will I meet in Westworld?

Aeden: Westworld has an endless cast of characters, all just waiting to meet you. There is a 10-1 host-guest ratio to ensure your every desire is fulfilled. Who would you like to spend time with?

EW: Ed Harris would be pretty cool.

Aeden: I’m sorry, per the Westworld confidentiality policy, we cannot disclose personal information about any of our guests. Just between you and me, though, the Main in Black is something of a VIP. What else would you like to know about the park?

EW: Can I get hurt in the park?

Aeden: You won’t be in any physical danger at Westworld, though the further you get from Sweetwater the rowdier things can get. This park has only one rule: You cannot hurt another human. The hosts, on the other hand, can be hurt and killed, if that is your thing. What more can I explain?

EW: But what about the inevitable robot uprising against their sadistic humans masters?

Aeden: I’m not sure I understand. I see you’ve been pegged as a bounty hunter. What would you like to know about?

EW: I have? Cool, can I be Boba Fett? If Delos made a Star Wars World, it could get you even more guests than an Old West town.

Aeden: Traveling to the Delos Destinations compound will be simple. A host will be in touch with all the details the week of your trip.

EW: Aeden, I’m afraid we have to break up. I just don’t think we’re very good at communicating.

More Westworld: Check out our interview today with star Jeffrey Wright. Follow @jameshibberd for ongoing Westworld scoop, recaps, interviews, and more. Come to after the premiere Sunday night for exclusive coverage.

Episode Recaps

Westworld (TV series)

Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy's ambitious sci-fi thriller is based on the 1973 Michael Crichton film of the same name.

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