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.
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.
From the Diary of the Imagineer, December 16, 1966:
So if our technology were to succeed completely, and everything were to be under our control, we should eventually say, "We need a new button."-- Alan Watts
Telepathy is one of the ten magical gifts I have been told by several medicine men and women that we will soon be capable of receiving. Since we are all at different stages in our evolutionary process, I believe we will each be able to receive telepathy only after we have evolved to the point we are capable of practicing it with love and benevolence. Even so, every gift can also become a curse. Our gifts can be double-edged swords we can either use to advance our species or to destroy it. Life is far more precarious than most of us are aware and we must be vigilant to defend its dignity and sanctity.
Here’s a drink you can make to best enjoy Ancestor, which was released October 2016 in trade paperback by Image Comics. Take one Philip K. Dick and one Alejandro Jodorowsky (circa The Holy Mountain) and throw them in a cocktail glass with two blackberries and a splash of agave nectar. Muddle. Add two shots of blanco tequila, two drops of Dimethyltryptamine or Lysergic Acid, and give it a dash of Black Mirror. Mix, shake, and serve. Now take your drink to a dark corner of your room, far from your computer or any wi-fi enabled devices. Read and drink slowly. Short as it is, Ancestor is a trip for the mind that’s worth your time.
We’ve all encountered artificial intelligence on the internet. Those AI programs are bots that are designed to mimic human behavior and make you feel more at ease with your decisions. As the programs became more advanced, it was shown that they could in fact influence your behavior. Artificial intelligence research today is nearing a tipping point that could unleash a world of morally ambiguous issues.