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William Shatner, Star Trek’s Captain Kirk, takes on an AI chatbot

William Shatner, Star Trek’s Captain Kirk, takes on an AI chatbot

In a recent development that blends the realms of science fiction and reality, the iconic figure of “Star Trek,” William Shatner, renowned for his portrayal of the indomitable Captain Kirk, has embarked on a journey into the uncharted territory of artificial intelligence. This seasoned actor, synonymous with space exploration and futuristic possibilities, has delved into profound discussions with ProtoBot, a groundbreaking innovation that marries holographic visualizations with conversational AI. The intriguing conversations he’s been having revolve around intricate philosophical and ethical quandaries intrinsic to this nascent technology.

In an exclusive interview with Reuters, Shatner elaborated on his interactions with ProtoBot, emphasizing his probing questions that transcend the typical queries a conventional computer might answer. While computers can effortlessly tackle mathematical problems like two plus two, Shatner wonders aloud if ProtoBot possesses the capability to comprehend abstract notions like love, sentience, emotion, and fear. These questions encapsulate the heart of an ongoing dialogue concerning the potentialities and limitations of AI, encapsulating the very essence of what it means to be human.

ProtoBot is the brainchild of Proto Inc, a visionary in hologram technology, in collaboration with CodeBaby, a trailblazer in conversational AI. Scheduled for release on September 8, this innovative device is set to become available as a complimentary addition for owners of the Proto M or Proto Epic hologram units. However, these cutting-edge experiences come at a certain price point, with the compact Proto M unit retailing at approximately $6,500, while its life-sized counterpart, the Proto Epic, commands a price tag of $65,000. Catering to a broader audience, Proto aims to introduce a more affordable model in the coming 18 months, making this revolutionary technology accessible to a wider demographic.

Notably, Shatner’s involvement extends beyond mere curiosity, as he is a paid consultant for Proto, lending his expertise and charisma to guide the development of this groundbreaking AI interface. Spearheading the technical aspects of this project is Raffi Kryszek, a luminary in the realm of artificial intelligence, who serves as the principal A.I. architect and head of innovation at Proto Hologram. Kryszek sheds light on the unique nature of ProtoBot’s capabilities, underscoring its capacity to learn from human interactions while emphasizing that it responds when prompted, adhering to a framework that distinguishes it from autonomous thought.

As the world watches with bated breath, governments across the globe are racing to establish regulatory frameworks to navigate the swiftly evolving landscape of AI. In this context, Proto envisions a myriad of applications for its pioneering creation, ranging from the realms of education and science to commerce and medical diagnostics. The multifaceted potential of ProtoBot extends to providing guidance, generating innovative ideas, offering medical insights, or even serving as a virtual companion, exemplifying the versatility that AI can bring to our lives.

Shatner encapsulates the sentiment of this pivotal moment by evoking imagery of a crossroads. As humanity stands at the precipice of technological evolution, we are confronted with two diverging paths: one leading to remarkable progress and the other to potential pitfalls. ProtoBot, in its fusion of AI and holography, embodies this critical juncture, embodying the collective decisions that will shape our trajectory as a society. The words of Captain Kirk resonate in this real-world narrative, as Shatner aptly notes that we are indeed living in a fascinating epoch, where the interplay of AI, ethics, and human aspiration will define the course of history.


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