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Steven Pinker

People gather and lay flowers on Nice's Promenade des Anglais on July 15. A French-Tunisian attacker left 84 people dead after driving a truck through crowds gathered to watch fireworks during Bastille Day celebrations. The attacker then opened fire on the crowd before being shot dead by police. Carl Court/Getty Images hide caption

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Carl Court/Getty Images

Will people in a couple of generations be unable to distinguish between real and virtual reality? What would it even mean to be able to experience false realities that feel true? Welcome to the world of holographic pink flamingos! Sven Hoppe/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Sven Hoppe/AFP/Getty Images

No matter what face you put on it, science is a powerful tool. Here, engineer Marcus Hold works on a nearly completed RoboThespian. Marvels of modern science, these fully interactive and multilingual humanoid robots are increasingly being sold to academic research groups. Matt Cardy/Getty Images hide caption

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Matt Cardy/Getty Images