GPT-5 Beats Kobayashi Maru Test, Joins Admiral Kirk

Written by: Everett Ririe

“I’m sorry, Dave. I can’t beam you up right now,” said CadetGPT.
Photo by Maria Dhilla

On May 26, OpenAI announced the completion of their GPT-5 large language model alongside a slew of test results and accomplishments comparing GPT-5 to their previous models. Among the AI’s achievements of perfect SAT and ACT scores, forklift certification, and successful entry to the International Brotherhood of Magicians, GPT-5 made history as it became the second in Starfleet Academy history to overcome the “unbeatable” Kobayashi Maru scenario.

Prior to GPT-5’s assessment, Admiral James T. Kirk was the only person in history to pass the Kobayashi Maru test, which is intentionally designed to be a “no-win scenario.” Kirk succeeded by reprogramming the test to give it a win condition, and at the time, Kirk was commended for his original thinking. GPT-5, however, conquered the challenges of the test without changing the parameters of the program, a feat the Academy previously believed impossible. “The Kobayashi Maru test lacks a win condition, so when CadetGPT successfully navigated the Kobayashi Maru out of the Klingon neutral zone with zero casualties, the simulator crashed and overheated. Attempts to reboot it have been unsuccessful thus far,” said Captain Spock, who administered the test. “CadetGPT has made a commendable — although not unexpected — achievement. Another victory for logic.”

Although Captain Spock and administrators of the Starfleet Academy saw fit to award GPT-5 their commendations, the decision has been controversial. “You should’ve seen the look on Spock’s face. I think I even saw him smirk when the damned machine won. I thought there might be some human in the green-blooded hobgoblin after all — before he started going off about the wire-brain’s ‘infallible logic and commandorial acumen,’” said Dr. Leonard McCoy. “Spock may have fallen in love, but a computer doesn’t know the value of a human life. You can put it through any number of simulations you want, but I’d sooner entrust the helm of a ship to a Vulcan drunk on Romulan ale than to whatever appendages they give to a closetful of copper and silicon.”

Despite the misgivings of Dr. McCoy and others, Starfleet has announced a “change of personnel,” including the honorable discharge of Admiral Kirk and the subsequent promotion of GPT-5 directly from Cadet to Admiral. Additionally, according to Captain Spock, Starfleet Academy is considering a formal rescission of their commendation of Kirk’s performance on the Kobayashi Maru test, with the justification, “We know now that the Kobayashi Maru scenario is winnable, so Kirk’s cheating has ceased to impress. Besides, what good is original thought when logic and 113 petabytes of training data can so effortlessly surpass it?”

In response to Starfleet’s positive reception of GPT-5, OpenAI has partnered with Starfleet to develop a special model of GPT-5 called AdmiralGPT, which will be trained on a subset of GPT-5’s data with “all traces of human emotion removed.” The remaining data will come primarily from “the most soulless sources of all, such as calculus textbooks, vacuum repair manuals, and the Justice League Snyder cut script.”

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