Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Scientific community finally achieves
Max Headroom technology

Dr. Christopher Lynch of West Lafayette runs a modest lab out of his first floor apartment just north of Purdue University’s campus. Taking inspiration from a short-lived 1980's television show and a handful of commercials he watched on YouTube, Lynch has become a modern day Dr. Frankenstein.

Late last year, Lynch “downloaded” the mind of a volunteer onto an old Commodore 64 computer connected to a 1987 Phillips CRT television set. “The key is the picture tube.” says Lynch, “New digital sets and flat screens just don't do the trick, seems it takes actual physical room to get those moving lines behind the head in there."

Last April, Lynch invited select members of the scientific community to his laboratory for a late-night meet-and-greet with his first subject, who prefers to be referred to as Patient Zero.

As the country's elite researchers filed into the basement lab, Lynch turned the brightness up on the Phillips CRT. "We were in awe. No one expected his razor-sharp wit," said Dr. Thomas Kim of Cal-Tech. "He's quite a smartass. And with incredible fashion sense."

But some artificial intelligence experts claim that Lynch's accomplishment is a hoax. Paul Dreyer, editor of NonBeliever magazine, says that the results could be easily faked by a character actor wearing a fiberglass suit. "They say that his studdering speech is a side effect of the digital conversion, but that could duplicated using an old VHS recorder. I'm not convinced. Lynch is con-man."

Dreyer also points out that, if the experiment proves to be authentic, using old televisions could prove problematic for future image-based immortals. "Glass cathode-ray tubes are quickly becoming scarce and difficult to replace. It's obsolete technology," he explains.

But the criticism is falling on deaf ears. Patient Zero has been entertaining offers from the BBC and MTV to host his own television program. "It's been a wild ride, and I just want to c-c-c-c-catch the wave," said Patient Zero.

We just arrived 20 minutes into the future.

Story by Charles Hollingshead