In a recent development that combines the iconic with the cutting-edge, renowned actor William Shatner, widely recognized for his portrayal of Captain Kirk in the legendary “Star Trek” series, has embarked on a journey to explore the uncharted realm of artificial intelligence. Shatner, known for his adventurous spirit on and off the screen, has engaged with ProtoBot, a groundbreaking innovation that melds holographic visuals with the capabilities of conversational AI. This innovative interaction has led Shatner to grapple with profound philosophical and ethical inquiries about the implications of this technology.
Delving into the intricacies of this venture, Shatner expressed his intrigue, stating, “I’m posing questions to ProtoBot that typically receive formulaic responses from computers. While a conventional computer can readily solve equations like two plus two, I’m probing whether ProtoBot can fathom the complexities of human emotions such as love, grasp the concept of sentience, and even comprehend abstract notions like fear.” His engagement with ProtoBot underscores the quest to uncover whether AI can transcend its programmed functions and enter the realm of human-like understanding.
ProtoBot itself is the brainchild of the collaboration between Proto Inc, a pioneer in holographic technology, and CodeBaby, a trailblazer in conversational AI development. Scheduled for release on September 8, this innovation will be made available to owners of Proto M or Proto Epic hologram units. However, the Proto M unit, a compact version, comes at a price point of approximately $6,500, while the life-sized Proto Epic commands a cost of $65,000. Anticipating wider accessibility, Proto envisions introducing a more affordable model for general consumers within the next 18 months.
Raffi Kryszek, the visionary behind the AI architecture at Proto Hologram, emphasizes that ProtoBot’s design revolves around learning from conversations, yet its creativity is activated only in response to prompts. Kryszek elucidates, “The intent is for ProtoBot to respond rather than initiate. Its purpose is not to independently generate ideas but to contribute meaningfully to ongoing discussions.”
This confluence of advanced technology raises critical questions in a world where lawmakers worldwide are sprinting to establish safeguards governing the rapid evolution of AI. ProtoBot, with its potential applications spanning education, scientific exploration, innovative business ideation, medical diagnostics, and even companionship, is poised to impact various facets of human life. Shatner succinctly captures the present juncture, stating, “Our global trajectory is at a crossroads. We stand at the precipice of either extraordinary advancement or potential challenges. ProtoBot’s role in shaping this trajectory is pivotal, as it aids us in deciphering the optimal path forward. These pivotal moments in history hold a captivating allure.”
In this fusion of the legendary and the innovative, William Shatner’s engagement with ProtoBot serves as a poignant reminder of humanity’s relentless quest to transcend boundaries and explore the ever-expanding horizons of knowledge and technology. As ProtoBot prepares to make its debut, it symbolizes not just a revolutionary stride in AI, but a testament to humanity’s insatiable curiosity and its ceaseless pursuit of progress.