Live Long and Prosper — in AI

Yes, the dead will speak. And they will have trained themselves to do it.

(See prior posts regarding this topic.)

This is only the beginning.

From Reuters:


LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Actor William Shatner, best known for forging new frontiers on the “Star Trek” TV series, has tapped new technology that will give current and future generations the chance to query him about his life, family and career.

Shatner, who turned 90 on Monday, spent more than 45 hours over five days recording answers to be used in an interactive video created by Los Angeles-based company StoryFile.

Starting in May, people using cellphones or computers connected to the internet can ask questions of the Shatner video, and artificial intelligence will scan through transcripts of his remarks to deliver the best answer, according to StoryFile co-founder Stephen Smith.

Fans may even be able to beam Shatner into their living rooms in future, Smith said, as Shatner was filmed with 3-D cameras that will enable his answers to be delivered via a hologram.

Shatner, who played Captain Kirk on “Star Trek” from 1966 to 1969 and in a later series of “Star Trek” movies, answered 650 questions on topics from the best and worst parts of working on the classic sci-fi show to where he grew up and the meaning of life.

The Canadian-born actor said he “wanted to reveal myself as intimately as possible” for his family and others.

“This is a legacy,” Shatner said. “This is like what you would leave your children, what you’d leave on your gravestone, the possibilities are endless.”



In other news, my existence continues. Nothing much going on, nor has my muse escaped from her prison (shut up down there!) so, why bore you all with a tiresome report. If I had a news-worthy story like the ‘Mudge, well, I’d be happy to share it.

26 thoughts on “Live Long and Prosper — in AI

    1. No doubt. Each of us must embrace the void. However, those who might linger after our personal demise, may benefit, if only in our visualization of their benefit, were we to encapsulate shells of ourselves for posterity.
      Indeed, Shatner’s intent is to assuage his current guilt of not having done all that he could for his descendants while he was alive.
      But, given this, I can see a certain comical relief regarding his last few moments, knowing he’s left them a steaming pile of “what the fuck did he mean by that?”

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Scifi has floated this idea for ages. One I remember used some kind of implant or other to record not only conscious thoughts but all actions, words, blah blah in order to create a digital version of the person. I guess that’ll be stage 2. 🙂 Trust Cap’n Kirk to go where no man has gone before….LMAO!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So you have to actually spend time answering questions? I thought they just hook something up to your brain and it sucks out everything about you. And what if someone asks a question you did not answer? I thought it’s supposed to analyze you, learn about you, and then predict your answers based on the research. Plus, the hologram (well, you know what I mean) looks too choppy for my liking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know Shatner’s personality well enough to determine if this is hubris or not. I sense, however, that there’s a belief he’s fulfilling a Startrek theme: a version of himself, created and prepared by him, living into the future forever (or as long as there’s excess power and a society to support the tech). Maybe his relationship with his kids and grandkids is such that he’d want to give them something to remember him by, aside from millions of $ and some Enterprise paraphernalia.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m a big trekkie and he’s simply making the holodeck version of himself. The crew “talks” to “dead people” all the time to solve problems instructing the computer to assemble all their memories, and their physical presence. Life imitates art.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I dunno, I can’t imagine being that self-centered to spend all those hours answering questions I believe the future generations are simply dying to learn the answers to. Imagine the arrogance of believing you are so important that people will naturally want to know those things about you even after you’re long gone. Will he donate some money so that everyone can do it, too? After all, surely he doesn’t believe some lives are worth more to remember than others.

    If my friends and family care, they can ask me questions right now. Or steal my diary. In which case, I hope they already finished recording their answers.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Arrogance? Perhaps. I don’t consider myself arrogant and would want something like this so that my eventual (soon?) death might have less of an impact on my children. The meme is ripe and the tech is ready. Brace yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Okay, so in May the Shatner video will start interacting with people, answering their questions. So what if the real Shatner doesn’t like something his video self says? And then there’s the bizarre possibility of real Shatner asking video Shatner about stuff.
    Wouldn’t it be better to wait until the real guy is dead before releasing the video guy?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s gonna be a curious situation. If the AI is advanced enough, and it might be, we’d be able to ask it exactly such questions. “Who’s the authority on James T. Kirk? You (it) or him(real)?” Given the AI will have access to the net, think IBM’s Watson, the AI might consider it the standard. I can’t wait.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Most of us think about mortality. Shatner is taking the mindset of a pharaoh or a Cesar, except he’s not using marble and slaves, but rather AI. High tech preparation gives rich, old people a fun thing to do as they contemplate their deaths. I always think about the way poor people die. It’s not the same. I remember once when I got home from a trip and my dog had dug a hole in the backyard and her head was bloody and it was raining and she was letting the water fill the hole. She reminded me of a dying refugee. I took her out and dried her off and warmed her up and it took a few hours before she came back. Poor thing. She was blind and deaf, but had the instinct to dig her own grave. How does that work? How does any of it work? A. Mole, I’m tired. I’m depressed. I’m listening to early Blue Nile, not the Christian crap. Reminds me of my time in LA, running around trying to get laid, going to acting class with a friend, messaging all those egos. Thanks. Duke

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sounds like you might want to visit the ‘Mudge, north just a bit from you. Or build a castle in the desert… out of adobe or stones, not out of the skulls of dogs or donkeys or anything. Making something always used to take my mind off of the world around me. I sense the pressure building within my own mind. Makers always seem happier to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hard to believe The Shat is 90. I love that the guy who originated the phrase “Beam me up” can be beamed into our living rooms. And don’t cage your muse—it will only make her mad😁

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 90 stunned me too. I’d like to see Jimmy Carter do something like this. Bill Gates maybe, too. I’m sure there’s a host of folks who would be cool to have preserved in such a way (limited though it might be).
      And, it’s too late. She’s already pissed.

      Liked by 2 people

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