Oh, My.

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A virtual reality headset is on display during a technology demonstration Jan. 8, 2019, at Joint Base Langley Eustis, Virginia. The demonstration was geared toward Airmen in the aircraft armament systems and munition systems career fields, and it provided senior leaders in those careers a chance to see how virtual and augmented reality could be implemented into initial entry training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Daryl Knee)

Meet George Jetson

The techno-future is wilder than we could have ever imagined.

New leaps forward in tech-science are making Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and block chain part of our everyday lives already.

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Testing the V.R. game, Oculus Rift // TEDxAmsterdamED Amsterdam. (photo: )

From popular VR games like Oculus Rift and AR games like Pokemon GO!, to AI assistants like Siri and Alexa, to ‘smart’ devices and appliances all networked together in the IoT, to block chain…

Well, no one really understands blockchain.

The future is unbelievable. And unbelievably, it's already here.

This Person Does Not Exist

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This person does not exist. This is a human face generated by advanced AI. (photo:thispersondoesnotexist.com)

Getting Across the Uncanny Valley

AI tech is exploding into believability, with AI generated faces becoming indistinguishable from human ones. ‘The Uncanny Valley,’ a term used to describe the slightly unsettling nature of ‘almost but not quite’ human faces, is slowly becoming a thing of the past.

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This person does not exist, either. This is a human image generated by AI. (photo: thispersondoesnotexist.com)

Advanced AI computers can now generate an endless supply of realistic human faces that are almost impossible to tell from the real thing. Websites like in an effort to raise awareness of just becoming.

AI, it would seem, has not proved as successful in generating feline faces thank goodness, and all attempts so far have been only unintentionally hilarious.

Not all tech advancements are fun and games of course, or even advertising; science and technology is in deadly earnest when it comes to using the newest breakthroughs to fight crime.

A Photo of Every Suspect

Forensic scientists now have the ability to use the tiniest single bit of DNA from a crime scene to generate an image of what a person with that particular DNA might look like. .

The DNA-generated photos, when compared to photos of the actual person, are startlingly similar.

There are still limits to the technology, as there always are at first. The DNA doesn’t tell how old the potential suspect might be. DNA only provides a basic framework for what a person might look like; life-style plays a large part in determining appearance as well.

The tech is also still very expensive, about $3,000 per case.

But it is only a matter of time before AI will be able to help not only generate a photo of a person based on their DNA, but estimate their age, analyze their background and socioeconomic status to pinpoint a more accurate physical size based on nutrition, even scrutinize someone’s hours spent online to predict if they will have a tan or not.

Future murderers will be very helpfully leaving a perfect photo of themselves at every crime scene.

The applications for VR/AR/AI/IoT are as varied as they are endless.

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A demonstrator shows how augmented reality can be used to view floating dialogue boxes for individual parts of a mock missile during a demonstration Jan. 8, 2019, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. Augmented reality is one way Airmen could use advanced technology to enhance their training in the field. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Daryl Knee)

Taking VR/AR Beyond Gaming

VR is proving to have applications in the fields of medical training, military training, and even medical applications.

. .

Even with the , and musicians are using it to help bring the .

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With the Augmented Reality App 10.000 Moving Cities — Same but Different one moves between the imaginary buildings via smartphone and tablet and participates in the digital communication streams and social movements of our time by means of inserted Social Media Posts. The buildings can be destroyed and rebuilt by the users. (photo: Marc Lee)

Wired magazine predicts that , taking us all down the rabbit hole, where whales can swim by on the street outside your office.

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Huawei VR2 Virtual-Reality-Headset. 2018. (photo: )

Not to be outdone, the U.S. military is taking these advancements very seriously, moving to stay on the forefront of military technology.

. This week, the .

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Defense Department Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy and Air Force Lt. Gen. John N.T. Shanahan, the director of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, hold a roundtable meeting on DOD’s artificial intelligence strategy at the Pentagon, Feb. 12, 2019. DOD photo by Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith

The Internet of Things

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The IoT refers to a growing group of ‘smart’ items, from cars to lightbulbs, that are all linked into a single network. This helps the items share data and work more seamlessly together to improve the lives of the people who use them.

Like most technologies still in their infancy, the IoT is currently creating more problems than it solves. But like any tech evolution, each generation gets successively better, or the technology dies and is replaced by something better.

What is the future of cybersecurity and privacy in a world where an entire network of objects can be hacked with a single hairbrush?

In Part II of this series, let’s examine IoT in a little more detail, exploring its challenges and opportunities.

(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)

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