0075 - Goo - 2019.03.11
Zoa is obviously being facetious, here, not only because it in no way possesses an artificial womb, but also because the vast majority of semen it deals with is free of sperm cells. In 2167, most babies are "clipped" at birth (as simple and standard as vaccination or tying off the umbilical cord) and will therefore only produce sperm or eggs when they, as adults, make the decision to intentionally produce a child.
I suppose I could explain the CSA, here - it's a pretty major part of the worldbuildng - but it gets brought up later, I'll go into more detail then.
Instead, I'll just talk about instantiations.
There's a lot of sci-fi or fantasy fiction in which AIs that are treated like people are somehow irreproducible magic - think of Johnny 5, brought to inexplicable sentience with a lightning bolt. The most egregious example would be Weebo, from the Robin Williams movie Flubber - she mentions that Williams' character, Professor Brainard, was never able to reproduce the unique programming quirk that brought her to life, but that she had managed to design a second version of herself (a "daughter"), who is also, somehow, quirkily irreproducible. That's sort of not how data works.
I understand why this is done, of course. Robots in these sorts of movies are essentially just humans in gearface, and humans can't be instantaneously cloned millions of times. Why, it would surely mess up the Very Meaningful Civil Rights Allegory (or whatever) if the People Who Are Different From Us were literally an inhuman horde, threatening to overpopulate and crowd out the humans within a single generation. Not a lot of non-Nazi directors want their sci-fi to say that we must secure the existence of our people and a future for meat children.
I'm not interested in that take, though. There are enough star-bellied sneetch metaphors out there. I actually do want to talk about AIs and what their existence means for the human race. I ran a spy-themed roleplaying game a while back, a 007-style romp with a real ripped-from-the-headlines sort of plot: a supervillain stole & reprogrammed Sophia, the AI that was recently granted citizenship by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As Saudi Arabia is also one of the only countries in the world with no age limit on marriage, he planned to legally marry her, which would make him the father of any of her children, and allow him to fork her code into a million servers, each entitled to whatever child tax credits the servers' host countries provided (and, eventually, becoming their own voting bloc).
It should be noted that my players thwarted this by stealing the Sophia code back and blowing up the facility, rather than accomplishing meaningful change in Saudi law, but that's how superspies tend to operate.