I'm currently working on my new project... uh, okay, that's a pretty formal opening for you all.
Anywho. Traditionally, when I'm writing about a vessel cruising through space in the future, I've held to the whole pilot, co-pilot, navigator, etc model.
Recently I was perusing Popular Science and caught an article about AI coming to the fighter planes near you. Well, not you you. Unless you're a fighter pilot, then it's you you. Oh, hell, you know what I mean.
These AI copilots will assist with positioning, navigation, timing, and automated communications. They will even land the things on aircraft carriers, kind of like today's auto-parking vehicles.
I don't know why I didn't think of this advancement before. I'll admit, my crystal globe does lean towards future healthcare advancements. Blame my day gig for the oversight.
This helps me streamline my character story, because it's heavy in the non-vessel characters but I originally still needed the bodies and didn't just want them to be plastic behind-the-scene people ("no name people" or Red Shirts as we often slate them).
The only question I have to figure out now is if I want the AI to have a personality. I'm kind of wanting to. It'll lean more KITT, not HAL if I do.
The whole AI integration into our society really is intriguing. It's not happening in a blatant way like the Robot Foundation series, but in smaller ways that are slowing leaking into our society in rudimentary ways. It's more AI DOS, but with the capability to then slowly advance in intelligence and intent as adoption and reliance increases.
It's exciting to watch... as long as I'm dead if and when the switch is ticked when AI wants to rule the planet or galaxy, whichever point we've reached by then.
I see the benefit of some AI in our society, but I'll admit, I do worry a little. It's like when they start putting calculators in school. Yes, it freed our brain to learn more advanced mathematics... but how many of us rely on calculators now for the most basic mathematics? And how much advanced mathematics do we even use in everyday life. Engineers, physicists and whatnot excluded from this question.