One of the crucial questions for mankind over the coming century will be the ethics and dangers of Artificial Intelligence. Are we about to become extinct, crushed under the metal heel of a race of super-robots like in the films? Well, I can’t tell you that, but I can prognosticate upon the growing wiliness of a lesser breed of machine, though also no friend to man, the pub quizzer.

To take an example: Strike It Rich used to pop up in various Oxford pubs, and was, roughly speaking, a pushover. You would answer a million questions, all easy, you’d get your mates round to memorise bits of the slow-moving hot-spot conveyor-belt mazey thing (these may not be technical terms), and your 20p would magically turn into a few quid. Those were, indeed, the days. Now SIR (an ominous acronym, you’ll agree) is back and costs 50p. It is much faster and stingier, but it also has the facility to cheat hugely. To progress to a prize game, you need n gems: such is the central tenet of the game. The machine will regularly get you to n-1 and then simply stop, no matter how many questions you answer. This is a blatant con, and symptomatic of a growing tendency to snake-bellied behaviour on the part of quizzers. Hopefully the new Strike It Rich will face as much disfavour from other pubgoers as it has from me, and will go the way of the outrageous Snakes And Ladders, which would often just take all your points away on the ‘random’ roll of its computerised die.