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The Apprentice: season 13, episode 3 recap: "Artificial Intelligence"

The Apprentice: season 13, episode 3 recap: "Artificial Intelligence"
The Three Laws of Robotics, as devised by Isaac Asimov, are guiding principles whose purpose is to avoid robots rising up and destroying us all. The Laws state that no robot shall be able to neither harm nor allow harm to a human being, nor be programmed to conflict the first law, even if it risks its own existence. This week, the Apprentice contestants push Asimov's laws to the limit, thereby triggering the robopocalypse.
The task

Lord Sugar assembles his crew at the Design Museum, after spending two hours circling the building wondering where they've got the Amstrad Emailer on display. This week, our hopefuls must programme prototype robots and pitch them to retailers; what could possibly go wrong? Inevitable death at the hands of our robot overlords? Let's hope so.

By virtue of having four brothers, Michaela is moved across to team Vitality to prevent them from building an automated wanking machine. Foppish James proposes that they target their robot to the over-60s, that demographic well known for being comfortable with technology. Unless the robot dispenses Bovril and Fixodent, I can't see it working.

Ross and Harrison put forward that a domestic help for OAPs should be able to recite recipes, give reminders for medication and teach yoga moves. James starts to do squats and lunges in front of the programmers to demonstrate the moves the robot should do. "I'm not sure that's technically yoga," frowns Ross, as James lies on his back gleefully thrusting his groin into the air. I don't know what type of yoga he's been taught, but I want to go to there.


On team Graphene, it's a tough decision between Jade "I know branding" and Anisa "I bloody love robots, me" as to who becomes PM. They unanimously vote for Jade, who decides they should create an educational robot, because learning is fun guys! This prompts Anisa to come up with the name "Flearn", a combination of "fun" and "learn". How about "Blearn", which is a combination of "BORING" and "learn"? Jade ignores her and instead opts for E.Bot, because "it does what it says on the tin", which seems a cruel thing to say about a robot.

The other half of the task is picking a robotic toy to flog to retailers, but that's not half as fun as the disaster that follows. First off the girls, whose pitch to John Lewis goes so badly the robot tries to kill itself halfway through. Usually in the initial stages of The Apprentice, the women's team falls foul of bitching and in-fighting which usually hampers their efforts in the task, so it's nice to see things are different this time around OH WAIT, NO IT ISN'T. Siobhan, who would start a fight with her own reflection and who I'm convinced is actually a young Hilary Devey, clashes with Posh Liz and calls her an "Old airbag". Liz smarts that she's not old, so Siobhan clarifies: "I meant HOT air bag, huhuhuh!" I like her.

The squabbling carries over into the pitches, when everyone starts talking over each other and, in an attempt at self-preservation, E.Bot keels over mid-presentation, unable to live in this world. Clearly, the girls all show less self-awareness than the robot.


It doesn't go much better for the boys. The bright sparks decide to call their robot Jeffrii, but Michaela thinks it looks weird written down so she changes it to Siimon, which is problematic because if you pronounce it in a certain way, it sounds like "semen". She also neglects to mention the change to the programming team, which means their bot is still introducing itself as Jeffrii. Elliot suggests that "Siimon" is his family name, but his real name is Jeffrii. Smooth move, brainiac.

This isn't even the worst of it. Because Michaela spends so long faffing over Siimon's logo, she and the rest of Vitality fail to notice that a rogue apostrophe has been placed on their pitch board, meaning that Siimon (Jeffrii to his mates) is now "You're helping hand for life". The boys are then laughed out of their pitches for claiming Siimon/Jeffrii can step in when society doesn't, meanwhile their hypothetical old lady Doris has to be rescued from doing the downward facing dog by the meals on wheels man. Boys, I think your fucked.

The boardroom

The writing is on Vitality's creased pitch board rescued from the bin: no one wants a robot with an identity crisis and so, by some glitch in the matrix, the girls win. In some on-the-nose product placement ahead of the new series of Robot Wars, Graphene are sent to literally fight to the death to settle their differences.
Who got fired?

Michaela brings back Elliot and Harrison to face Lord Alan's finger. Although the team's disasters run all the way back to her, Sugar decides he doesn't like the cut of Elliot's jib and so he is terminated. Bye bye, Torii Boy.
Does he thank him?

Yes, but rather unenthusiastically.

Next week, the contestants must combat the seven signs of ageing.


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