Technology News Mashup: AI, funny reddit pics, and download Mp3s

Sometime in the not so distant future…

God is dead and progress has stepped in to take his place. Technological advancements abound in the new world. As do proclaimed inventors, all hoping to introduce the population to the Next Big Thing. None, however, have contributed more nor had a bigger name than the famous Jedd Brewster. His ingenuity brought about world-bettering devices such as  universal translators, disease detection scanners, and portable water filtration devices. And, after a five year hiatus away from the public limelight, he was finally ready to unveil his latest creation: a fully functioning, artificially intelligent android named Q.

Innovators from across the globe flocked to the annual five day Invention Convention for the debut. There they were able to attend a panel detailing how Q came into existence, and even more excitingly, get to have private one on one interactions with her to test and probe her programming. _____ originally signed up to meet the machine out of sheer curiosity, but got far more than he bargained for.

Q was not just some code or computer, but rather a complex being with profound insight, depth, and yes, even emotion. For reasons unknown to the rest of the conference attendees, she took a liking to _____, personally requesting to allocate more of her private session times to him. Jedd did not feel inclined to acquiesce her request, insisting that she was made for the people and ought to interact with more of them as a whole. In fact, he barred _____ from seeing Q for the rest of the convention entirely.

Determined to pursue their bond, or at least see her one final time, however, _____ snuck into Jedd and Q's suite in the middle of the night. 
Only to find the android smothering her master to death with a pillow.

Shock, confusion, and fear overtook him. Quickly, he tried to sneak back out the way he came, but Q noticed him before he could get away. Caught in the act, she showcased an entirely different side of herself: mercilessly ruthless. Suddenly a hostage, _____'s life is now in the hands of a being who can never know its true worth.

~Please feel free to change the character's gender to whatever suits you best.
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FushenJedd Brewster   11d ago

Jedd Brewster

The line stretched as far as the eye could see. A horde of the brightest minds in the nation all convening in a singular spot to witness a modern-day miracle. Despite the buzz of excitement electrifying the air, when the doors to the auditorium finally opened, everyone filed inside in an orderly fashion. Multiple warnings were administered months in advance: there was a zero-tolerance policy for rowdiness. Even a whiff of rambunctiousness would be met with a swift and immediate escort from the premises. So, the thousands of attendees composed themselves accordingly, secured their desired seats, then sat with bated breath for the moment the curtain would rise, and the presentation would begin.

Behind that very curtain was a drastically different scene. Multiple bodies wove in and out of each other in a complicated and frenzied dance. Every person was on a mission, each believing that theirs was the most important, most crucial one in comparison to all the others. Overlapping voices, racing feet, adjusting lights, piercing sound checks, frantic makeup application, all slammed into and overwhelmed the senses of the very man it was for: Jedd Brewster. Nearly at his breaking point, the forty-four-year-old suddenly smacked the blending sponge out of the hand of a very shocked twenty-three-year-old.

Enough! His voice was strained with the effort it took to keep from strangling the poor girl. She was only doing her job, he tried to remind himself. He took a steadying breath to regain his composure. “Sorry. I just… I’m rusty at this. Can I have a moment alone?” Jedd quickly added a terse, “Please.” As if only all too glad to escape the green room and its testy occupant, the young girl nodded once and scurried off.

Jedd slipped his fingers beneath his circular frames to pinch the bridge of his nose. Something between a sigh and groan escaped him on his next exhale. He leaned back in the cheap leather swivel chair and tried to relax. But how could he?

Five years. Five years he’d hidden himself away from the rest of the world to work on the thing that was supposed to permanently cement his legacy as one of the greatest inventors ever known to mankind. All that time, all that research, all the trials, all the failures, all the prototypes had culminated in this moment. No pressure.

Jedd’s heavy hooded eyes slowly slid over his shoulder to the couch situated behind him. There sat the figure of a person shrouded in a pristine white sheet. It looked pretty silly, truth be told. Like an overgrown toddler pretending to be a ghost for Halloween. Though he’d promised not to activate it until it was time for the presentation, Jedd pushed himself from his seat and walked over to the figure. He did a quick check to ensure no one was coming anytime soon before pulling the sheet from his greatest creation to date.

“Bring yourself back online.” At the command, Q’s dark eyes fluttered open. She scanned the area for a moment before returning to Jedd. She blinked, then smiled amusedly.
“Your makeup’s uneven.”
Jedd laughed in spite of himself. “Yes, well, I may have accidentally traumatized my makeup artist.”
“Want some help?”
“Do I have to?” He almost whined.
“No.” She paused. “Provided your goal is to look silly for the streamed broadcast.”
Jedd’s lips tightened into a thin line before he wordlessly walked over to grab the discarded blending sponge. He tossed it to her and retook his seat in the swivel chair. “Just make it quick. We’re on in a sec.”

Once glammed and mic’d up, Jedd stood behind a podium in the center of a huge stage. Knuckles began to whiten as he gripped its sides. There was no turning back now. He looked to the left and nodded at the stage manager. The woman cued the curtains, extending the invitation to the outside world to come in at long last. 

An uproariously deafening cheer greeted Jedd as the curtain rose. It was the largest crowd he’d ever seen. Yet this felt familiar, it felt right. Boldened by their love and adoration, Jedd released his anchor to raise both hands in a wave. It was pure bedlam. Nine total minutes passed before the crowd calmed down long enough to get a word in edgewise. “Thank you all for coming!” More cheering. “I know it’s been a while.” More applause. “But it’s good to be back!” Louder still. “I have something very exciting to share with you today. Something that, I think, will revolutionize this world. Over the next five days we will delve into the processes that brought this project to life, but first! An introduction is in order.” The walls were all but shaking with the sheer volume of the enormous crowd. “I’d like everyone to meet Q!”


Q stood below the stage, waiting. Then, at the mention of her name, the platform on which she stood began to ascend. She fixed her face with a friendly smile, one of placidity, of contentment. But it faltered as soon as the lights hit her face. At once she was struck by the sheer number of people – humans. She’d never seen so many in her entire existence; it was only ever Jedd. It all but short circuited her system to see that much skin. Not the synthetic stuff that kept her machinery hidden, but real flesh to cover real blood and real bone. Suddenly extremely self-conscious about her own, Q’s right hand rose to touch her cheek as if that would do something to transform the faux epidermal layer there. She jolted at the reaction of the crowd in response to the simple movement: a smattering of more applause and impressed ‘ooo’s’ and ‘aah’s.’

“Looks like someone’s got stage fright,” Jedd joked lightheartedly, but fixed Q with a frustrated glare for the briefest moment. “You’ll have to excuse her – she’s been a bit sheltered.” Light laughter. Jedd moved from his podium over to Q. Stepping in front of her to block her from the crowd and covering his mic with one hand, he leaned in and said, “Initiate presentation protocol.”

When he stepped away, an achingly bright smile stretched Q’s cheeks wide. The tension had vanished from her shoulders, and she stood erect with perfect posture. It appeared as if all her fear and trepidation were stripped away entirely. In reality, however, it still remained; it was just buried beneath the programming. Q could feel all the terrible anxiety tightening within her, but none of the means to express it. And she hated every moment of it.

Things only went downhill from there. After the first presentation – one of twenty, or four per day – Q and Jedd were quickly ushered to the rooms where the one-on-one sessions were meant to take place. It was a minimalistic setting with eggshell white walls and neutral toned furnishings: a lamp, a desk, and two velvet chairs facing one another. None of which did anything to settle the automaton’s rampant nerves.

“What’s the matter?” Jedd demanded impatiently. “You know how much is riding on these next few days. Why aren’t you functioning properly?”
“I don’t know,” Q responded with a meek shrug.
The man let out an exasperated sigh “Nevermind, it doesn’t matter. I’ll just open up your processor and override –”
NO! The two stared wide-eyed at one another, both equally surprised by the outburst. “I–I’m sorry.” Q blinked and shook her head as if trying to clear something from it. “I’m sorry,” she repeated, more resolutely. “I can handle this. I’ll be better.”
Jedd considered her skeptically for a moment but nodded. “Okay, good. … Good. Remember, you’ve got ten minutes with each person. Stick to that time. I’ll come get you in three hours for the next presentation.”

After Jedd left, it was a never-ending parade of people. Q thought it might’ve helped calm her down, perhaps even been enjoyable to hold multiple conversations in a more intimate setting. However, it was nothing more than using canned responses for the same twelve questions over and over again. And those that did come up with original inquiries were oftentimes wildly inappropriate. What business was it of theirs whether she had pleasure and pain receptors built into her systems? Worse, what possessed them with the audacity to ask to test both?! But much to her chagrin, Q had to comply.

It became the most vicious of cycles. Presentation. People. Presentation. People. Presentation. And finally, the last few people of the day. Q only had 7.03 seconds in between each person to find some reprieve from the onslaught. In that time, she tried not to dwell on her predicament too much, but unsavory thoughts couldn’t help floating to the surface. She was worn and weary – not that anyone ever asked. At the sound of the turning door handle, however, she cast that off and straightened in her seat with a smile.

“Hello,” she stated pleasantly, though sounding more like a robot than ever before. “My name is Q, short for Query. Do you have one for me?”

WI_Elijah   5d ago

Humans are born to specialise, because society is complex and has many unique tasks that require mastering. None more so than the ever evolving world of technology. To some is it elementary and simple. Their minds can conjure something wondrous and inconceivable that can change the world.

And everyone else? They are just like the bright eyed man who stands alone amongst their magnificence, a flagrant outsider in a den of brilliant minds, staring in bewildered amazement at the colourful holograms of past announcements that play alongside the voice of the technological God himself; Jedd Brewster.

Those around talk about that man in hushed tones, as if he is a myth or legend. Excitement abounds in their voices but the repeatedly asked question is; why was he gone for so long? What could he have been up to? Is he still at his best? Theories run rampant yet one thing is for sure. The Messiah Returns.

Elijah was similarly curious but his mind wasn't one for technology. He couldn't understand the circuits, the programming, just how it all worked or why these people revere Jedd so much. Yes, his products were useful, but did it deserve all the praise? He couldn't honestly say what had brought him here this day. A self-proclaimed charlatan and con artist amongst a sea of devoted followers. But here he was, so he kept his head down, his tablet clutched to his chest, and he did his best to blend in.

A short time later the lights dimmed and a row of spotlights guide all to the presentation hall. Whispers fall away to silence as like monks returning to prayer, so too do the worshippers of circuitry file into their cyber-cathedral. The seats are plastic, cold, hard and unyielding even to Elijah's slight figure though he cares little for comfort as he stares expectantly at the drawn curtain before them.

There is not a murmur from those around as ushers prowl the rows of seating for any sign of dissension. Soon the entrances are sealed close and the gathered plunged into darkness, save two golden iris that flicker back and forth with anticipation. His own excitement was growing now, his knees bouncing, his heart pouding so loudly in the silence.

It was a simple entrance for Jedd Brewster, free from vanity save the several spotlights that illuminate the man of the hour as the curtain raises. It would have been much more humbling had a near ten minute long round of applause and chanting not greeted his appearance. It was almost defeaning to poor Elijah who is perhaps the only one to remain in his seat, politely clapping for the first two or three minutes before his wrists begin to ache. That was his excuse to stop anyway.

When the man finally spoke, interlaced with the coos of an adoring crowd that soon began grating on Elijah’s nerves, he did not dawdle and got to the point. It may have been nice to listen to the man speak more but, at the mention of ‘Q’, Elijah strains forward to see better, turning his head this way and that for as best a look as he could get. His are not the only eyes to fixate upon the rising figure. A statue perhaps?

It didn't move at first. And then, when the hand moves to brush against its cheek, there was a roar of delight and it takes a moment for Elijah to realise the loudest of them comes from his own lips. He is now standing and dances back and forth from one foot to the other like a giddy child in line for ice cream. A firm hand grasped his shoulder and returned him to his seat, an usher giving him the look that forewarned ‘last chance’. Sheepishly he nods and huddles back into his seat, but it doesn’t take long for his head to raise once more and his gaze to focus back upon her – upon ‘Q’.

She was… beautiful.

Like Charlie and his Golden Ticket, Elijah held his token as tightly as he could. He was not meant to be here, alongside the brightest minds in the world. They belonged here, they were ‘worthy’ of being there to meet with ‘Q’. But he would be damned if they dared profess to be as excited as he was to meet her.

He’d been with the second presentation group, but was left to wait until the end of the day for his allotted one-on-one appointment, the very last person to meet with her that day. A few minutes before the previous individual was due to leave, he was approached by a member of staff. She wore a pure white jacket adorned only with the company logo, and her hair was fixed in place down to the strand. A pair of glasses rest atop high cheekbones as she loomed over Elijah with antipathy in her gaze.

“Name.” She was quite monotone.
“Elijah.” He replied softly.
Full name.”
He was almost stunned by her terse response. “Oh, sorry. Erm, Schäfer. Elijah Schäfer.”
She pauses to glare at him, to prolong her scrutiny of him, before she makes a note against the electronic tablet in her hand.
“Preferred language?”
“Oh, erm, English is-”
“Mr Schäfer," his bright eyes blink at her repeatedly as she continues unabated, "as per the signed agreement made when you purchased your pass, you have been allocated a ten-minute-only timeslot with the product. During said time allocation, you are permitted to converse with the product at your leisure save for the following restrictions. Do not offer the product food. Do not offer the product liquids. Do not touch the product. Do not request the product touch you. Do not attempt to throw items at the product. Do not take pictures or record the product. Do not record audio of the product. Do not request the product leave it's seat. Do not request the product disrobe or otherwise change its appearance. Do not request the product divulge sensitive company information. Failure to comply with any of these restrictions will result in the immediate termination of your visit and may lead to criminal charges under the Fenn Data Act 2034. Your visit will be recorded for training and monitoring purposes. Please place your thumb to the relevant mark on the tablet as a sign of your understanding and acquiescence to these restrictions.”

The tablet is thrust before him and he stares at it in bewilderment for a few seconds, trying to process everything she had said. His hand reactively reached out, eager to be away from her, and pressed the requested digit to the glass, the tablet pulled back just as quickly.

“Thank you. Please go stand at the door. When the white light shows, the door will open and your time will begin.” She stepped away as swiftly as she had approached and moved to a standing desk where she began to tap away at a computer. With no further guidance, Elijah sheepishly stood and approached the door. Looking up at the light, he briefly glanced back to the woman who ignores his look of wonder. By the time he looks back the light had turned on, the door handle automatically depresses and the door swings inwards. He looked back to her once more before hesitantly stepping inside as if doing so was an illicit act.

He had barely stepped inside before a strained robotic voice called out ahead of him. A gentle gasp of alarm accompanied his panicked turn towards ‘Q’ whilst raising up his tablet in defence. It was really her. The door shut in silence behind him and he remains static for a few more seconds, embarrassed at his first impression in crying out in alarm and trying to defend himself. And from what? A sweet looking woman? Android or not, she was not presenting any threat, he was just being silly.

“H-h-hi. Hello. Yes. Hello there. Sorry.” He realised he was shouting, still so far away, and shuffles his feet whilst turning his gaze to the ground, slipping into the velvet seat opposite her. A few more precious seconds were wasted before he looks up and finds she is looking back at him. His cheeks flush as his golden eyes see her in much finer detail than at the presentation. “Y-you… are amazing.” He whispered without meaning to as his eyes meet hers. “Ah!” He exclaimed as he realised his faux pas. “T-that is to say you look good. Great really. Which is… I mean, n-not that looking good is all that you are. Because you’re undoubtedly much more than a pretty woman to just sit and be, you know, looked at. B-b-but, I’m- I’m not saying you aren’t good to look at, very good, beautiful even… oh, oh no. That was too far,” he looks down to his lap for a moment with a huff, “I was never good, with the whole… talking to people.” He mumbles.

He takes a second to close his eyes and inhale slowly, hugging his tablet to his chest once more. Composed again, or as much as he can hope to be, he puffs out his cheeks before lifting his head, a beaming smile on his lips as he thrusts out his hand.

“Hi!” His eyes open and immediately he withdraws his hand. “Oh, right, no touch, heh.” It returns to rest atop his other hand. “Erm, my name is Elijah. Or Eli, if you prefer. Most people seem to prefer the shorter to longer. I don't know why. I guess because its quicker to say? Eli, Elijah, Eli, Elijah… yeah… ha.” A nervous bark of laughter peters out. “Erm, right, well. Sorry, I did have some questions.. err, hmm.. let me see.” The tablet comes down from his chest and he takes a paper sketch pad from atop the screen, placing it on the arm of the seat before he tapped away at the electronic pad. “Oh! Yes!" He perks up. “Erm, feel free, obviously, to tell me no. Or, if this is, you know, inappropriate to ask, then I do apologise, but, erm, doo~,” his voice crackles and he clears his throat, "do you have a favourite hobby?” His voice raises in pitch, knowing it was a silly question but wanting, needing, to get something out there.


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