Imagination Connoisseur, Alan Bennett, shares his concern that artificial intelligence is being improperly villainized in STAR TREK: PICARD and, instead, should be embraced as a natural “next step” as we boldly explore the stars.

(edited for clarity)

Hey Rob,

As I was listening, I had a thought about the Artificial Intelligence topic you had just brought up. This is just an observation …

This is in reference to the use (or in my case misuse) of what artificial intelligence is in the Star Trek universe and, in particular, STAR TREK: PICARD (ST:PICARD).

To me, the Star Trek universe needs to get away from using the old hackneyed concept of “A.I.=bad.” As Captain Jean Luc Picard, himself, stated in the STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION (ST:TNG) Episode “Measure of a Man”:

“Now, the decision you reach here today will determine how we will regard this — the creation of our genius. It will reveal the kind of a people we are, what he is destined to be; it will reach far beyond this courtroom and this — one android. It could significantly redefine the boundaries of personal liberty and freedom; expanding them for some — savagely curtailing them for others. Are you prepared to condemn him and all who come after him, to servitude and slavery? Your Honor, Starfleet was founded to seek out new life; well, there it sits.; Waiting.”

Exploration is the core of a good Star Trek. It always has. That was why I gravitated to it. So here was an idea that I had:

Move beyond the tropes in STAR TREK: DISCOVERY (ST:DISC) and ST:PICARD. The Federation is still mandating exploration, but the majority of humanity is beginning to move into another phase of evolution – moving quicker as Q stated to Picard in ST:TNG.

Holograms could, in fact, download themselves into a positronic matrix, therefore, giving themselves an actual physical body. But there is a catch to this; once the download has taken place there is no going back.

The transporter could be a much more powerful device by sending down ATH’s (away team holograms) being both remotely controlled by either A.I. Guidance or human neural interface like was shown in “The Nth Degree” 4th season episode 19.

Outside biological infection would be vastly reduced, though there could be other extraterrestrial infections that could happen. Space is vast. What a better way of self-discovery than facing emotional imperatives than facing what could be a moralistic choice.

There could be massive drama from exploration why do people have such an aversion to this?

Just because a few, well-renowned people such as Professor Stephen Hawking or industrialists in the form of Elon Musk have weighed in on A.I., this shouldn’t be the rallying cry for what is happening in ST:PICARD. The artificial intelligence that takes place in Star Trek is an idealized form of the future.

Look at INTERSTELLAR and the robots of TARS and CASS as perfect examples of a great A.I.

As to the look of the android. I think they should look humanoid because these new explorers are representing what Federation is at its core – an amalgam of beings.

We should be reaching for the stars putting our very best forward. A.I. is not counterposed to what we are, if anything they are our child of creation.

Just some ideas to ponder.

Thanks for your time.
– Alan B.

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