I remember reading the story 7 to 13 year ago in a thin book, that judging by it's a bit worn-out state, could've been released many years earlier, not sure if it was an anthology or just for that story. The cover of the book had an orange shape of a man on a black backdrop and the title contained the number 3000.

The story follows a space ship captain, who is travelling a mission in solitude, aside from his ship's on-board AI who keeps him company, even though the captain internally comments on how "stupid" it is. Something happens and they arrive in a new, unexplored zone. They discover a ship that was previously considered lost. The captain realises that the ship AI has become sapient, now conversing with him like another human being. The AI also comments that the zone is very bright, full of light, which the captain didn't realise at first, because the ship's outside view screens had an auto-dimming feature.

Eventually, something compels them to return back home. The captain realises that going back will degrade the ship AI back to its initial level of sapience. The story concludes as he listens to the ship AI's parting messages.

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    I've added the [short-stories] because of your description of a "thin book". If you don't think this is appropriate feel free to remove the tag again. – TheLethalCarrot Jun 8 '18 at 14:05
  • Could you give us some idea of when you read this, and how old you think the story might be? – Binary Worrier Jun 8 '18 at 14:42
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    Sapient as in "The ship AI appears more intelligent than it previously was" or sentient as in "the AI appears to be free thinking and newly capable of independent thought"? Basically, how dumb was the AI initially? – AAlig Jun 8 '18 at 16:00
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    Flowers for A.I.gernon :-) – RDFozz Jun 8 '18 at 17:51
  • @AAlig I think I covered that in the original question text. – Worse_Username Jun 8 '18 at 23:40

Going solely by these clues

"The cover of the book had an orange shape of a man on a black backdrop and the title contained the number 3000"

Could it be this?

enter image description here

The Emancipation of Abraham Lincoln XL-3000 and Other Stories

No clue about the content. It's 300 pages though which is not a match.

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    The Amazon summary lists a few of the stories in the book. While none of them appear to match the OP it does say there are more. Maybe one of the others will sound familiar? – Xantec Jun 8 '18 at 19:00
  • Nope, definitely not the same cover. I don't remember there being much other than the ORANGE MAN(not just text), rather in full length than portrait and the text. – Worse_Username Jun 8 '18 at 23:36
  • Aw bummer. Is it like an orange silhouette of a man or more like a regular picture? – Organic Marble Jun 9 '18 at 0:32

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