Annemarie Quill: Things computers can't do

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REAL HOUSEWIVES: Not even the best computers could deliver such brilliance as The Real Housewives of Auckland.
REAL HOUSEWIVES: Not even the best computers could deliver such brilliance as The Real Housewives of Auckland.

You would think that prostitution would be a safe bet for a future career given that even with all the advances in technology that are making some traditional roles redundant, there are some jobs surely that a computer can't do.

It's the downside of the digital age, that people may lose their jobs. This week I parked in the Durham St multistorey for the first time in a while. The humans who used to man the barriers have been replaced by machines. Computers can be used to design houses, potentially displacing architects. Even surgeons are not immune with new equipment using robots for certain surgeries.

But some professions still need humans. Prostitutes will still be in demand surely as their services cannot be replaced.

Wrong.

Robots could replace sex workers in the near future according to National University of Ireland's law professor John Danaher who said this week, "The cyborgs can cater for desire for sexual variety, freedom from constraint and complication and fear of lack of sexual success.

Technology may become better at developing emotional bonds with their clients. They won't need to 'fake it' the same way as human prostitutes."

They won't need to fake it? Surely the fact that they are as hard as metal, move strangely and don't say much might give it away that they are not real.

Some men may prefer robots to real women.

After watching the first episodes of The Real Housewifes of Auckland, I might too. I think I would prefer to have a birthday party at Ostro with the Terminator than some of the women on the show - apart from Gilda Kirkpatrick, who seems streets ahead of the rest in real woman sass, and Anne, who you can't not like as she is always on hand with a glass of bubbles and a collection of old pussies.

Like the feminists who wrung hands over the premise of The Bachelor as being sexist and old fashioned, it would be easy to go hating on a show which parades ostentatious wealth in a country which, as we have uncovered this year, has families sleeping in cars, tents and garages.

That is not to say that palatial living is bad. If you have worked hard for your money then knock yourself out on your travetine tiles. In any case whether the women have earned their money, inherited it or married into it doesn't seem a bone of contention for them. Rubbing our noses in it is part of the fascination and entertainment in the show.

I love Gilda as she clearly doesn't give a Fendi about the seemingly middle-class anxieties of Angela and Julia who gossip about whether or not Gilda is a gold-digger for having married a property tycoon 43 years her senior.

Gilda insists she married for love, but whether she did or not, does it matter? Good on her for marrying then for love and money.

What is so outrageous about marrying "well" anyway? As Gilda says, why have the apprentice when you can have the tradesman? Who needs Angela's chakra healer when novelist Jane Austen had it all sussed for us in the 19th century.

"Marriage indeed is a manoeuvring business," she wrote in Mansfield Park, and then in Pride and Prejudice, "Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of choice."

Back in Jane's day if you had a daughter the key to her future was getting her married off well. Two hundred years later, with equality and all that, many women believe in marrying for love, or not marrying at all and doing your own thing, earning your own living. Some Kiwi women, I was amazed to see when I first moved here, believe in independence so much they even mow their own lawns.

It all sounds like a lot of hard work, particularly faced with high student debt, low wages, and extortionate house prices.

Why work your butt off, then have to go home to a pile of ironing and a cheap glass of disco bubbles?

Much better to tiptoe through the vineyards in Swarvoski crystal heels with Julia's other half and have the gardener polish your champagne glasses.

There could be downsides - as Julia's man ambiguously remarks "I pay for the pants and get into the pants."

If rich hubby does turn out to be a bit of a bore in the long run, marrying well ensures that it doesn't have to end in tears as former model Christina Estrada found in her divorce from her Saudi billionaire husband when she received 75 million, after demanding a 40,000 yearly fur coat, 109k for dresses and 4k for sunglasses.

Seems fur enough to me.

The only downside, it seems, of being in the rich-housewife set is dealing with the potential cattiness of the other housewives. Mind you, bitchiness isn't limited to those with big bank accounts.

In episode one Louise referred to Angela as "a big unit" and Michelle asked her if she was a plus-size model. Angela in turn goes for Gilda, calling her out on the gold-digger gossip. Gilda's honest response is that she would rather dig for gold than dig for shit before delivering her killer line to Angela, "Do you know what I heard about you?" says Gilda. "Not a f ... thing."

I don't think even the best cyborgs in the world could deliver such brilliance.

Can't wait for the next episode.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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