Star Trek and AI

Coincidently the Star Trek TOS episode The Ultimate Computer was on TV the other night. It is a classic 60’s warning against AI and some the dialogue sounds like the conversation around ChaptGTP in education. Some selections…

MCCOY: “We’re all sorry for the other guy when he loses his job to a machine. When it comes to your job, that’s different. And it always will be different.”

KIRK: “Machine over man, Spock? It was impressive. It might even be practical.”
SPOCK: “Practical, Captain? Perhaps. But not desirable. Computers make excellent and efficient servants, but I have no wish to serve under them. Captain the starship also runs on loyalty to one man, and nothing can replace it, or him.”

DAYSTROM (the creator of the M-5 computer meant to replace the crew of a starship): “You can’t understand. You’re frightened because you can’t understand it. I’m going to show you. I’m going to show all of you. It takes four hundred thirty people to man a starship. With this, you don’t need anyone. One machine can do all those things they send men out to do now. Men no longer need die in space or on some alien world. Men can live and go on to achieve greater things than fact-finding and dying for galactic space, which is neither ours to give or to take. They can’t understand. We don’t want to destroy life, we want to save it.

MCCOY: “Compassion. That’s the one thing no machine ever had. Maybe it’s the one thing that keeps men ahead of them. Care to debate that, Spock?”
SPOCK: “No, Doctor. I simply maintain that computers are more efficient than human beings, not better.”


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