Interview

Jeanette Winterson: ‘The biggest threat to us all isn’t Brexit or Covid – it’s climate change’

The author of ‘Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit’ talks to Charlotte Cripps about ‘12 Bytes’, her new book on artificial intelligence, and whether we should just be ‘letting all this gender business go’

Sunday 25 July 2021 08:04
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<p>Jeanette Winterson</p>

Jeanette Winterson

Jeanette Winterson wants to upload her brain to a computer. “If you came along today and said, ‘the technology is in place, we can upload your brain now, you can leave behind this body that’s made of meat… you’ll be able to download yourself into any other form you like, whenever you like,’ I would think that was wonderful,” she tells me. “Totally. I would love that.”

The bestselling author of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, her 1985 debut that catapulted her to stardom aged 25, is gung ho about some of the potential advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) – the subject of her new book, 12 Bytes.

It couldn’t be more different from Winterson’s first book – a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story about a young girl adopted by Pentecostal parents who comes out as lesbian – which won the Whitbread prize for a first novel.

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