New Report Claims Star Trek Is Helping A.I. Get Smarter, And The Trekkie In Me Loves To Hear That

New Report Claims Star Trek Is Helping A.I. Get Smarter, And The Trekkie In Me Loves To Hear That

Regarding technology, Star Trek has been ahead of the curve in portraying future gadgets for a long time. Picard and many other of the best Trek characters used tablets well before the iPad, and weren't viewscreens just Zoom calls before we knew what Zoom was? Now, a new report claims the franchise is helping artificial intelligence grow, which could bring us one step closer to that holodeck future we all dream about. OK maybe just me. 

We're still far away from the world of holodeck simulations and the WTF moments they created for Star Trek: Voyager, but people around the world are getting mass exposure to A.I. thanks to the plethora of chatbots out there. Recently, NewScientist (via Windows Central) explained chatbots that were prompted by phrases from Star Trek were more likely to succeed at giving the correct answers to grade school math problems than other methods to encourage the correct response. 

Hilariously enough, the study said the prompt included phrases like "Captain's Log, Stardate," rather than calling the program "Computer," which was the standard opening in the franchise when characters needed the ship's program to do something. Maybe the A.I. just needed to feel like it was a Starfleet captain to rise to the occasion, which I can understand. 

More intriguingly, the scientists, who ran the tests on versions of Meta's Llama 2 and Mistral AI, were surprised by the results. For the record, this was just one of several tactics chosen to elicit a correct response to a math problem, which artificial intelligence has shown it sometimes struggles with. Chatbots are still flawed, which might be intentional by developers so they never come up with a successful plot to destroy humanity like in the movies

Artificial Intelligence and its uses are a hot-button topic of conversation in the world right now, especially as companies and scientists test-run programs that help the tech try to emulate art, writing, and other things traditionally done by humans. I understand that perspective, but as a Trekkie, I know a holodeck future likely doesn't happen without progressive strides in this field of study. How else would Janeway be able to talk to Leonardo Da Vinci if there wasn't an algorithm predicting how he'd respond to her questions? 

William Shatner shared his thoughts on A.I. and stated he'd be OK with being used for it if his family signed off on it. Given this new report, I'm now envisioning a day in which we don't just see Shatner by firing up our Paramount+ subscription, but James T. Kirk could also be your child's math teacher. We do know that Kirk taught at Starfleet Academy before he became captain of the Enterprise, so I'd reckon he's capable, right? The Trekkie in me would be thrilled for my kid to learn from him, even if it's not him. I'm getting really specific here, but suffice to say the possibilities are endless, and I hope they boldly go for them. 

Star Trek has plenty of upcoming content, and is about to hit the 2024 TV schedule with the premiere of Discovery's final season on Thursday, April 4th. Tune in to see the final adventure of Michael Burnham and her crew and maybe some other technology that will one day be a reality when some inspired mind sees it on television.