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Living Inside the Shell

August 31, 2012

So this is basically what I wrote about in Nanowrimo 2011, minus all the sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. Which makes it sound more exciting than it really was, which it wasn’t. Rock ‘n roll wasn’t involved.

The idea was a general mash up based on Ghost in the Shell / The Matrix / Bladerunner / Eve no Jikan (Time of Eve) but in the present tense – namely the progenitor to the sort of technology which would lead to *the robot uprising* the eventual blurring between man and machine. Pretentious shit, yeah?

Anyhow! It’s been in the news recently – the reading of pin numbers and suchlike using EEGs (paranoia ensues). I do wish the news coverage wouldn’t be so sensationalist. Cool shit does not lend itself to evil shit. Still, all that is imho not very exciting compared to all the unexplored possibilities in EEGs.

The general premise is: a professor uses an EEG to read brain signals and with machine learning, the computer is eventually able to recognize the meaning of these signals. Picture of apple > record brain signals for “apple”, picture of “orange” > record signals, etc. Imaging the pulses for “move left foot” then “move right foot”. Professor thinks “motorcycle”, computer displays image of “airplane”, learns it is the wrong answer, etc etc until the feedback is mostly accurate. So, probably in a very tedious and Pavlovian manner, the professor teaches a computer to read minds (actually only one mind, the professor’s own).

Eventually the professor is able to project entire worlds and experience them in a fully immersive manner with VR technology (like this). Up to this point, all this technology  is capable of existing and indeed does, perhaps in less immediately recognizable forms.

So, bravely onwards into the realm of SF. In a combination of reverse EEG and subliminal messaging (shocks and whispers), external text/images/videos can be converted into sensory perceptions. So the professor can “see” Eine Kleine Nachtmusic, “experience” Crime and Punishment, “speak” to Abraham Lincoln, so on and so forth. Obviously this is all very boring, so the professor connects to the Internet.

Now firmly grounded in the realm of outlandish fiction, the professor meets what is essentially the Puppet Master of the Internet. Deep shit ensues.

And then I hit 50 thousand words. So endeth the story.

Yes, yes, I know.

But anyway, wouldn’t it be fun to imagine the personification of the current most popular websites today? Facebook, for example. Not literally, like having Zuck looking at you through the window with dollar signs in his eyes:

PS: I added the dollar signs myself.

Which is not the point. In any case, if you met the anthropomorphism of Facebook, what would he/she/it be like? Google? Twitter? Reddit?


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