121

After a last, convulsive bout of childishness, humanity finally grew up. The huge red warning sign, marking their system off-limits, was turned off.

Just south of Jupiter’s equator rages the Great Red Spot, a storm that could swallow several Earth-sized planets. First seen in the 1800s, the Great Red Spot is one of the most recognisable features of our galaxy. Yet,  this Great Red Spot may soon become the Great Red Circle Memory, as NASA’s planetary scientists observe that the spot is rapidly shrinking. Inspired by this shrinking storm, O. Westin weaves it into a coming of age for Earth. Could the disappearance of the Great Red Spot signal the end of our adolescence? // Alex Massey

//O. Westin (@MicroSFF) has written thousands of seed-sized science fiction and fantasy stories on Twitter since 2013.//

103

Chess, Go, and finally Poker were conquered by AIs. But it was Rock-Paper-Scissors that forced them to watch and learn how to understand humans.

In 2017, AI advanced rapidly when pitted against humans and other AI in strategy games including poker and Go. Able to analyse and predict human behaviour, a computer can eventually beat you at Rock-Paper-Scissors. But what does ‘understand‘ mean? And is understanding humanity really the most important goal of AI? The goals of AI are increasingly important, as China and the US draw closer to equal AI capabilities. What will prove more important to Earth – the power of individual nation states or the benefits and threats of AI to humanity? With public discussions already in progress around automated weapons, it must be asked if AI itself will fall under scrutiny.  // Alex Massey

//O. Westin @MicroSFF has written thousands of seed-sized science fiction and fantasy stories on Twitter since 2013.//

97

During the Hydrocarbon Era (ca 1790-2040 CE), humans loved burning so much, they would ritually inhale smoke. – A brief history of Earth, 2357 CE

Usage of fossil fuels is rising slower, and renewables are increasing faster, than predicted only a few years ago. We are approaching the end of the fossil-fuel-burning era, coincidentally at the same time tobacco smoking is declining in many parts of the world. Will future historians make a distinction between these two habits? // Personal Statement by the Author

//O. Westin @MicroSFF has written thousands of seed-sized science fiction and fantasy stories on Twitter since 2013.//