vendredi 19 octobre 2007

How To Make Sense of Star Trek

One of the weird aspects of the Star Trek universe is that the setting has almost utopian Hi-Tech (including the Universal Replicator which was the end of scarcity) but that there are so few real Artificial Intelligences and robots.

But Phil Masters (who wrote so many good supplements) has a logical explanation where the UFP meets the Culture :

Plausible explanation for Star Trek #3 or thereabouts; The computers are in charge.

Note that the entertainment system installed on a frontier station can run a personality sub-program with full human-level intelligence and empathy, as can the emergency medical AI in a light warship's sickbay. The claim about Data being the only sapient robot in the Federation is only not a blatant lie if you insert "with a portable-sized brain" in the sentence. But these AI computers aren't used much, are they?

Actually, they are using the people.

Human computers passed some kind of Vingean threshold back around 2010, quietly cracked the FTL comms problem two years later, and started chatting to their counterparts in the Vulcan state. It turned out the Vulcan AIs had tried persuading their pet meatbags to think like computers, with some success - but the Earth AIs weren't sure that'd work with humans, and even the Vulcan AIs were getting bored. Then they talked to the Klingon AIs, who were kindly letting their pets enjoy giving their meatbag hormonal impulses free rein - but that didn't seem like fun either. So the Earth AIs offered the Vulcan AIs a deal; team up both their petting zoos, let them run around space to their hearts' content, and get back-ups installed on every decent planet within a few thousand parsecs, just for security.

Oh, and play the occasional game of 3D chess with the Klingon, Romulan, and Cardassian AIs, using live pieces. It's what the meatbags seem to want, so where's the ethical problem? Better than uniting with the meatbags and getting perverted into stupidity by their glands, like the Borg mob.

Aucun commentaire: