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The Most Disturbing Part About The AI Hotels In Altered Carbon

Do android hotels dream of electric sheep? There's no denying that Netflix's Altered Carbon shares some DNA with Blade Runner, but it also pushed the cyberpunk genre in strange new directions. One of the most inventive characteristics of the show was the charismatic A.I. hotel where Takeshi Kovacs sought refuge after finding himself in a new body. But because of the hotel's programming, it led to a bizarre dynamic between the mercenary and a digital personality designed to look and act like the 19th century writer Edgar Allan Poe, of course.

Poe struck up a bizarre friendship with his guests, and although he's a virtual A.I., he often felt like one of the most human characters in the series because of all the murder and depravity that goes on in Bay City. However, because the future is unruly and savage, these A.I.-controlled buildings were wired a little differently than your typical roadside hotel in order to keep their guests safe.

They're fully licensed to protect guests

There's a very specific reason the A.I. hotels have such a bad reputation in the world of Altered Carbon, and it's down to their original programming. Not only did the hotels offer respite from whatever futuristic worries were getting guests down, they also offered a "girlfriend experience" to — ahem — pass the time. To make the stay all the more authentic, the hotels were wired to make them love and care for their guests — causing the A.I.s like Poe to become very, very attached.

A clingy robot hotel isn't exactly ideal, especially for a clientele that might only be visiting for a single night with a specific intention in mind. Did we mention the fact that their license to protect guests means they're all fully kitted out for combat? Sure, that comes in handy for Takeshi Kovacs as he unravels his own set of mysteries in the series, but for a typical guest, that's a little concerning. No one wants an A.I. stalker who also happens to have a set of machine guns in the lobby, that's just not ideal.

Unfortunately in 2020, Altered Carbon was canceled by Netflix after its second season, which saw Anthony Mackie take over from Joel Kinnaman as Takeshi's latest sleeve. As Deadline reported, the streaming service chose to ax the show over the cost of renewing a series. It isn't surprising since the wildly futuristic show required a substantial budget to make the intergalactic setting look and feel authentic. So unfortunately, we won't see any more from Takeshi Kovacs, Poe, or The Raven hotel. But, it was fun while it lasted.