■ The Humans actor, 50, tells us about mixtapes and why he doesn’t trust AI
Would you fancy owning a robot yourself?
I would have said yes after the first series of Humans but after the current series, absolutely not. Is AI a good idea? I’d say basically no. I don’t trust Siri and don’t have an Alexa. I can’t deal with things that talk back to me.
What are your favourite robots from film and TV?
One of my favourite films that involves AI is Demon Seed. It’s a robot that falls in love with Julie Christie. The robot is called Proteus and Robert Vaughn did the voice uncredited. The voice is the most terrifying thing in film. He takes over Julie Christie’s house and tries to have sex with her to conceive a robot baby. Yul Brynner as the gun fighter in Westworld is another one. Ash in Alien was great — he was just a grumpy piece of AI trapped in a human-looking body.
Are you a keen user of social media?
I’ve never been on Facebook, I was always suspicious about it, but I loved Twitter when it started. I don’t use it very much now — the moment Trump turned up ruined it for me. I’m an occasional Instagram user and I’ll generally post pictures of food.
Who are your favourite people to follow?
Musicians I like. I want to know when they’re touring or have new tracks out. I like Roisin Murphy, she posts a lot and is very entertaining.
What obsolete tech would you want to bring back?
The Sony Walkman. I still miss my old one and miss mixtapes. I used to love doing them. Spotify lists just aren’t the same. I got my Walkman when I was a teenager and did mixtapes full of David Bowie, Talking Heads and The Smiths. Looking back, I was maybe a bit cooler with my music taste than I thought at the time.
How ‘smart’ is your home?
There was a children’s birthday party at my house recently. We did food for the parents but I couldn’t turn the oven on. It took me an hour to work out I’d somehow reset the clock and put some kind of timer on it so it wouldn’t cook anything until 19 hours had elapsed. So remote-controlling my heating from an app just wouldn’t work — there would be fires and people running out of buildings screaming.
What’s been your most disappointing tech purchase?
I always get very excited about buying new kitchen gadgets but they always fall into disuse. I’ve got a Nutribullet. I was making smoothies all the time at first but then just stopped using it. A stick blender is a lot easier.
If you could invent any gadget what would it do?
It would be a small neural implant that would remove a hangover at the touch of a button. Maybe it could inject you with electrolytes or vital liquids. I don’t drink very much, however — at my age you can have very little but it can have an enormous effect.
Humans is on Channel 4 on Thursdays at 9pm