The UK government is drawing up plans to ban robots from buying tickets for concerts and musicals – and, I assume, other things you might need tickets for, such as An Evening With Les Dennis.
Robots buying tickets? What madness is this? Actually, what the authorities want to crack down on is ticket touts swallowing up vast amounts of tickets with automated software – which they then sell on at massively inflated prices to fill their greedy pockets.
The ticket-tackling legislation will be presented to MPs this week, and if passed those who use software in such a covetous manner will ‘face an unlimited fine’.
Back in December, the Telegraph reported that tickets to the hip-hop musical Hamilton were being sold by touts for up to £6,000. Meanwhile, and also in 2017, the inexplicably popular Ed Sheeran was so incensed by the antics of touts that he cancelled 10,000 tickets to some of his shows that were being sold online at ridiculous prices.
Anyway, Margot James, minister for the digital and creative industries, is ‘determined to make sure everyone has the chance to see their favourite stars at a fair price,’ adding bullishly that ‘this week we will reach the final stage in our fight to beat rip-off ticket touts using bots to buy huge numbers of tickets, only to sell them on at massively overinflated prices’.
In a broader sense, is this the start of the surely guaranteed war between the government and the artificial intelligence we are creating to one day replace us? If so, looks like it’s 1-0 to the carbon-based lifeforms.