6

In the first episode of Altered Carbon, Kovacs is searching for a safe place to rest and gets to the Raven hotel. Although it seems like the ultimate lair/base of operations, with a very dedicated AI and overkill client protection, people seem to avoid AI hotels. They tell Kovacs to avoid the Raven, Poe even mentions that Kovacs is his first client in 5 decades.

Is there a reason why people avoid AI hotels? Are they overly expensive to the point anyone but Kovacs (with Bancroft's money) couldn't afford it? Do people distrust AI that much? Are there very big drawbacks I missed?

  • 5
    From a few reddit posts there appear to be a couple of reasons. 1) They're creepy/invasive/clingy 2) People don't trust AI 3) They may have imprisoned people before 4) Might be expensive 6) AI think they're "above" humans. Won't answer because I haven't seen the show so can't fact check. – TheLethalCarrot Oct 5 '18 at 13:06
  • It seems like Reddit's search engine failed me again. Thanks. – ChuckMaurice Oct 5 '18 at 13:08
  • I'm early in the season myself but they specifically flagged #1 from that list in the show. They give the impression that it's not easy to just walk away from an AI once you're done with it. – delinear Oct 8 '18 at 14:35
4

In the novel, we are first introduced to the Hendrix's AI (renamed to the Raven in the TV adaptation) when Kovacs walks into the lobby and tries to check in. He's prevented from doing so at first by Dimitri Kadmin and his squad, but when Kovacs is finally able to make payment and becomes a paying customer, the AI moves to protect its (only?) client by deploying a "twenty-millimeter automatic cannon" and killing them all. Later, when Kristen Ortega arrives to investigate, she explains that the cannon was installed when "the corporate wars turned nasty". She also explains that due to a trading crash shortly after these wars, that "the Hendrix graded to artificial intelligence status and bought itself out." Then she says this:

"Lot of the hotels on this strip are AI." She grinned at me through the smoke. "That's why no one stays in them. Shame, really. I read somewhere that they're hard wired to want customers the way people want sex. That's got to be frustrating, right?"

The inference here is that the Hendrix will do anything to please a customer, even kill. Later, when Kovacs meets Miriam Bancroft in his suite, we see more of this behaviour, namely that the AI let her into the room without his permission and that it plays mood music for them.

The makers of the TV show adaptation describe it like this:

“We liked the idea that people don’t stay in the hotels anymore, which is from the book, and also that the hotels have a slightly stalker-esque quality, also from the book,” Kalogridis says. “It felt like that argued for a persona that was a little persistent and maybe a little off-putting.”

So it seems that the AI hotels in Altered Carbon like their clients just a little too much for the citizenry to handle.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.