Farewell Mr Spock; a window into the future of deep AI.

This week I lost one of my childhood hero’s and an iconic character.  The true and original Mr Spock, played by the enigmatic Leonard Nimoy, has sadly passed away.

I have recently been thinking a lot about Mr Spock, or more generally of his brethren. The Vulcans as depicted in Star Trek were a race that were devoid of emotion and lived their lives through pure logical reasoning. If we take human intelligence and remove all emotion then we are left with a Vulcan and seeing as emotion is the ultra-deep part of intelligence it suggests that if we can ever develop truly deep AI then the first incarnation would behave like a Vulcan.

It is debatable as to whether a pure logical being could ever sustain itself or exist within a community of like beings, however it would seem to me that if we can ever truly generate deep AI the logic would come first as it’s the easy bit compared to understanding and generating true artificial emotional states.

So what of Mr Spock? Well his mother was human and Nimoy portrayed beautifully Spock’s continual struggle between logical and emotional reasoning. Maybe in the distant future humankind may begat artificial intelligence that undergoes the same struggle.

So farewell Leonard Nimoy and thank you for creating Mr Spock, a thought provoking character who entertained and inspired me throughout my life.

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