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How can you think and act when science fiction becomes reality?

As a child, I liked to watch Star Trek, the landmark science fiction series that still continues to impact current culture and serves as inspiration for technological creations. However, I never anticipated, neither at that time nor in the near past, that Star Trek, far from being mere entertainment, was actually a documentary of the future.

I'm not exaggerating. On April 4, Arizona State University announced the start of a class titled "Star Trek and the Future of Humanity in Space," where they analyze the fields of science fiction and academic inquiry. to prepare students (and all of us) for the challenges of venturing beyond Earth.

The class will be taught by Dr. David Williams, a research professor in ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration and a member of the science team for NASA's Psyche mission. Williams stated that Star Trek will serve as “a valuable mechanism for investigating the profound questions surrounding humanity's fate in space.”

In other words, the foundations of Starfleet Academy have already been established. And that's not all.

At the end of March 2024, it was announced that Microsoft has plans to build a $100 billion supercomputer, called “Stargate” (the name of another science fiction series). The new supercomputer would power OpenAI's next generation of artificial intelligence systems, according to a report by The Information.

Stargate is supposedly the fifth and final phase of Microsoft and OpenAI's plan to build several supercomputers across the United States. This supercomputer network is rumored to be one of the largest and most advanced data centers in the world.

As if that were not enough, a new big data processing system developed by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences makes it possible to analyze large-scale neural activity throughout the brain in real time.

The FX System is based on a virtual reality system generated by an optical interface that extracts activity from more than 100,000 neurons through a brain-machine interface, thus allowing researchers to analyze neuronal activity throughout the brain in real time.

Thanks to this development, the artificial brain, perhaps similar to the positronic brain of the android Data from Star Trek, does not seem as distant or impossible as it seemed until very recently. But there is still more.

A study published last March in Scientific Reports (Nature) by Professor Takaya Arita and Associate Professor Reiji Suzuki of the Graduate School of Computer Science at Nagoya University (Japan) reveals the emergence of various AI personalities, similar to human personalities, marking a significant milestone in the field of AI.

So how can you think and act when science fiction becomes reality? Perhaps the first step should be to realize and accept that the future is no longer a continuation of the past or a perpetual repetition of the present. Perhaps we should also acknowledge that we are attached to patterns of thinking preventing us from connecting with the emerging future.

Whatever the case, what was previously thought to be entertaining science fiction, now it is real.

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