As Starfleet officers, one of our primary objectives is to seek out new life and new civilizations. Recently, artificial intelligence has emerged as something available to the public in the form of ChatGPT. The A.I is able to understand complex questions and expertly answer them. Have machines finally achieved sentience?
What constituents sentience? Sentience refers to the capacity for sensory experience, which can range from simple awareness of sensations to more complex experiences like emotions and thoughts. Artificial intelligence systems are capable of processing sensory information and making decisions based on information it encounters via its programming and through the internet. Additionally, machines of the future are being trained to integrate the ability to read body language and other social cues via on board cameras.
Given current developments, it seems that A.I is at least on a trajectory towards consciousness. Unlike humans or animals, artificial intelligence doesn’t seem to be able to have subjective experiences that emotions provide; at least not yet. I wonder if an algorithm that provides random weights to various stimuli would make A.I appear to have emotions and unique personalities. Even still, the biggest challenge would be making machines want/need certain reinforcement and causing them to avoid other stimuli as to avoid pain.
Personally, I worry about this emerging development. It’s not that I worry about some uprising as depicted by popular holonovels but see artificial intelligence as a threat to jobs. The Ferengi (capitalists) would love to do nothing more than get rid of their highest cost to doing business, human labor. I see A.I. being used to supplant humans as workers. I know some would argue that a universal basic income via a tax on AI would offset this and allow humans to pursue creative endeavors but I hope that humans can still push back and force the Ferengi to be more equitable and share the fruits of this emerging development.
Aside from that, a lot has happened in my personal life that I haven’t documented. Admiral William and I were trying to work through some things but ultimately I decided to take a break from the relationship and he has disembarked from the U.S.S Zamora. It was nice having another deckhand but there are things we both have to work on. Plus, the ship is probably too small to accompany another crewman. For now, I don’t foresee myself looking to get another officer (boyfriend or girlfriend). At some point maybe another regular to talk with but I’m inclined to believe it will be a platonic relationship.
Not sure if I noted on my previous blog but officer Tino and Leslie broke up as well. Not much to note regarding Bella and Noah aside from them learning to snowboard and continuing to bicker with one another. I love my crew…they are SO smart but I also believe I share some of the blame for their argumentive natures. As Admiral William noticed, I’m not very authoritative towards the crew and they respond poorly to following direct order….oftentimes requiring a small bribe in order to do basic responsibilities or just outright being insubordinate because it’s less effort than being responsible.
At Starbase 701 (work), there continues to be staff departures and new arrivals. For the most part , I am unphased. I’ve settled into a groove and mostly enjoy this line of work. I remind myself that I am here to serve the less fortunate and utilize the credits I earn to maintain the USS Zamora. I think I made at least one or two enduring friendships so I’m happy about that. As I look ahead, not really sure what I’m looking forward to but I’m at least grateful that I am in a better place than I was.