William Shatner looks great for 90. The leading man and poet known for his unique style of erm, acting, rang in his ninth decade with an announcement straight out of Star Trek. Teaming up with future-tech company StoryFile, Shatner revealed he’ll be among the first humans to upload their personality onto an AI-powered system allowing future citizens of Earth (and beyond) to interact with him.
For those of you not lucky enough to meet the man at one of his many Star Trek conventions, fear not, your chance to pick the brain of former Captain James T. Kirk has arrived. According to StoryFile Co-Founder and CEO Heather Maio-Smith, your close encounter with digital Shatner will be better than stepping onto the Holodeck:
“Not an avatar, not a deep fake, but with the real William Shatner answering their questions about his life and work. This changes the trajectory of the future — of how we experience life today, and how we share those lessons and stories for generations to come.”
This begs the question, will future dating apps allow us to “date” dead famous people? (Um, totally.) The cutting-edge technology also pairs with VR/AR and 3D components to further elevate the “experience.”
It’s all possible thanks to a cloud-based AI Megamind that organizes video interviews with the subject, then uses Conversa technology to create a fleshed-out digital reproduction, pauses…and…all.
We predict that as the technology accelerates, every scrap of digital information about a person can be uploaded to layer their online persona until it’s indistinguishable from the real thing. This means not only can folks like William Shatner live forever, but you and your ex-girlfriend-who-you-dumped-for-the-new-waitress-at-Appleby’s-but-in-hindsight-was-definitely-The-One can too. Feel that? The responsibility of good life choices just got heavier.
Captain Kirk once said, “How we deal with death is at least as important as how we deal with life.” So while Shatner is clearly a great choice to boldly go where no man has gone before, we have a few suggestions of others who should precede the man who infamously dropped the worst poetry album of all time. Check out our list below and share your suggestions with us on Twitter. Just be careful, Shatner is watching.