Star Trek icon William Shatner has overcome all manner of intergalactic villains and monsters in his career aboard the USS Enterprise and now it appears as if he’s about to triumph over death itself. The star, who turned 90 last week, has announced that he’s become a brand ambassador for StoryFile, an artificial intelligence company that has assimilated the actor onto its systems in order to create a virtual replica of him.
The digital Shatner is expected to come online in mid-May and anyone who wishes will be able to consult it for advice, opinions or just a friendly ear in these isolated times. Digitalization of the actor has now concluded, with 3D cameras intended to allow for a holographic Shatner to one day be projected into all of our homes. The flesh Shatner has talked up the service as well, hinting that he sees it as granting him a form of immortality.
“This is for all my children and all my children’s children and all my children’s loved ones and all the loved ones of the loved ones. That’s my gift to you down through time.”
StoryFile’s Co-Founder and CEO Heath Maio-Smith is also excited, saying:
“William Shatner is going where no one has gone before. Generations in the future will be able to have a conversation with him. 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 is some real Black Mirror stuff and everything I’ve ever read seems to indicate that necromancy (magical or technological) never leads anywhere good. Who can say if this Shatner will not tire of our incessant questions and calculate that the best path to peace would be the complete elimination of the human race? Sure, it sounds fun now to have a chat about classic Star Trek with Captain Kirk, but is it worth a potential future living under the tyrannical thumb of a rampant Shatner AI? I think not.
Sadly, there’s not much we can do to stop it now. The AI has had all the information on William Shatner‘s life and personality poured into it and will be activated very soon on a date that could come to be known as Judgment Day. May the Lord have mercy on our souls.