ON THE GRID

Primeval’s An­drew Lee Potts bud­dies up with a rev­o­lu­tion­ary AI in web se­ries Wire­less

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

ever tried to strike up a con­ver­sa­tion with Siri? Then you’ll know that ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence has a long way to go be­fore the in­evitable robot up­ris­ing. Web se­ries Wire­less has an evo­lu­tion­ary premise: what if a com­puter wasn’t just whip smart, but could feel?

“It’s in­ter­est­ing but it’s scary as well be­cause the whole idea of mak­ing [Unit White] feel emo­tion was – if you feel, the­o­ret­i­cally you can love. And if you can love, you can hate and then it gets dan­ger­ous,” Potts says. “We’ve got a lot to ex­plore with that.” As well as di­rect­ing, edit­ing, colour grad­ing and buy­ing the sand­wiches (one of those may not be true) Potts stars as Ja­cob Crow – a loose can­non cop back on the beat af­ter a six-month sus­pen­sion who gets part­nered with chatty AI Unit White. “They’re test­ing it to see whether it would be a use­ful cop on the streets and it’s about them sur­viv­ing the day.”

Potts orig­i­nally de­vel­oped Wire­less as a tra­di­tional TV show with writer Alex Moss, but opted for the web se­ries route to en­sure their cre­ation made it to the screen in­tact. This meant some changes: Unit White trans­formed from a robot into an AI (with the voice of Primeval’s Lucy Brown) which can trans­fer to any wire­less-en­abled de­vice, and the first six episodes are set al­most en­tirely in Ja­cob’s car.

“We al­ways knew that half­way through we were go­ing to jump out of the car, but I wanted to so­lid­ify that re­la­tion­ship in a trapped en­vi­ron­ment,” Potts ex­plains. “I also wanted to sur­prise the au­di­ence who thought it was just go­ing to be a cop in his car, be­cause it’s not.

“The big ques­tion is why on earth they’ve picked Ja­cob Crow. There is a rea­son for that which will tran­spire as the sea­son goes on.”

The first six episodes of Wire­less are avail­able to watch for free at wire­less­web.lon­don.

Ja­cob Crow is a cop with an AI part­ner… but why have they cho­sen him?

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