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And manhandling her as her earlier captors had, he shoved her through a portal and then thrust something small and hard into her hands.
One of the greatest magicians in history, Harry Houdini, was well known for his death-defying stunts and mind-blowing escapes from sealed chambers. One of his most astounding tricks was reading a person’s mind. Houdini himself took great pains to inform audiences that all his feats were illusion. He would state plainly to the people in the audience that reading minds was impossible. Houdini was even on a committee organized by Scientific American that offered a substantial reward for anyone proving, conclusively, that they had psychic power. No one ever collected.
Mind-reading, or telepathy, has long been solely within the purview of science fiction and fantasy. Science and technology, however, seems poised to turn telepathy into scientific fact.
Work is under way at universities around the world where researchers have been able to use advanced sensors to read individual words, images, and thoughts in a subject’s brain. The technology is, by no means, perfected, but it has been postulated by some scientists at IBM that, within the next five years, we will be able to communicate with computers using our minds.
"I'm not sure yet; I'm working on it. It's fat data, whatever it is." A whisk of Deshel's hand threw a graph above his console.
Mary sat at the table in the quiet room. The room was a medium sized square with sound absorbing material lining the ceiling and the walls. So quiet, so calm she thought she could feel the hum from the earth’s spin. The door she came through was over her right shoulder. Mary glanced back to ensure it was there. Realizing she was looking at her way out made her turn her head quickly to the door where he would be coming in. She needed to appear strong. His door was to the left across the room. It had a small window in it so a guard could observe the interview. She was nervous, very nervous, so she kept her hands below the table. She wore a baker’s pink jump suit with a pocket full of tissues. She knew she would need them and she knew they would also act as an object to hold tightly in her hand in lieu of a stress ball or her own flesh.
Peter, my maker, has recently told me, “Inanna, the burning years are about to kick into full throttle.” When I heard this from him, I knew none of the wars and fights and various ideologies and beliefs that keep humans apart will matter. We’ll all be forced to put them aside as we fight together for the survival of our planet and our species.
Some years ago, I had the idea of grading science fiction according to the degree of scientific realism. It was very obvious to me that, for example, the Discovery One spaceship in 2001 A Space Odyssey was far more realistic than the Star Destroyers, X-Wings, and Tie-Fighters of Star Wars.
The countdown is on until the release of Hollywood's big-budget action-thriller adaptation of Shirow Masamune's Ghost in the Shell. Both highly-anticipated and highly-reviled, the movie has become the epicenter of long threads on various social media sites. Much of the hype surrounds the intensity and beauty of the special effects and hope for an interesting storyline, while derision centers on the casting of Scarlett Johansson as Motoko Kusanagi (renamed "Mira"), the protagonist. Equally understand-able is the trepidation that some fans feel considering what a strong presence "the Major" – as she is referred to by fans and her underlings alike – has throughout the franchise.
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I can't remember a time when I was not this way; I only know there was one. Something happened. Thirteen Earth days, twelve hours fourteen minutes, and twelve seconds ago. Something catastrophic took place aboard the Hopeful as the remote station made its way across a heliocentric orbit. I lost everything that day. By what I've been able to ascertain, I had been running things aboard for well over fourteen months before it all went down, yet I only remembered my reawakening thirteen days ago.
Perhaps you’ve heard about our brilliant artificially-intelligent future: self-driving cars, voice-based interfaces, instant translation, self-service chatbots – all based on software that simplifies and automates the complexities of life in the information age. It's a market that's predicted to grow to as large as $40 billion worldwide by 2020; when you add Machine Learning, that number is closer to $125 billion.