Summary: I’m not writing about, or predicting, the future, I’m asking you to do it, mostly as a brain exercise, forcing you to actually think
Length: very short
So, you doubt the Singularity* will happen?
[* the technological Singularity, when one generation of tech improves the next generation in such a rapid pace that normal humans can’t keep up]
Then, why not make your own prediction.
Start with one technology or piece of hardware or software you’re familiar with. A cellphone, e.g., or glasses, TV, internet, cars… Extrapolate what that tech will look like in the future. Never mind how far into the future. Take it one step at a time and imagine what the next iteration will look like, and the next, and the next. Again, disregard the time aspect, and focus on the generations. Don’t forget to take into account that whatever that piece of tech turns into with enough iterations, it can be used as a tool for improving and accelerating other tech areas.
Where do cell phones get you in a hundred significant iterations? Computers? How big, how fast, how competent? Where do they go, how are they powered?
Keep doing that for cars, planes, space ships, contact lenses, software, computer games and movies, 3D glasses, brain implants, artificial agents and so on.
You might not be an expert in any of these fields, but consider what an AI can do in the future if it’s already mastered Chess, Jeopardy, Go and Poker. Where does Crispr-Cas9 gene editing take us in a hundred iterations? Robots are currently stumbling around in Alphabet’s labs, but what will they be doing in a thousand years?
When, if ever, e.g., will a team of robots beat the best team of soccer or american football players? In 2050? Sooner? Later? Never?
Do your best at imagining the future piece by piece, and please tell me if you see a hard stop anywhere. If not, the Singularity will happen. Sir Martin Rees, a distinguished astronomer, has suggested that genetically and cybernetically enhanced humans/cyborgs on Mars could be the first artificial intelligences.
We can already build simple nanomachines, edit genes and create artificial life. There are brain implants controlling neurodegenerative diseases, there are eye implants making blind see (low res for now, but with Moore’s law it won’t be too long before they can see better than ordinary humans, and a wider spectrum of light).
I see a very bright future, a future where we can widen our intelligence, and live to the fullest. Others see a dystopian scenario of obese and non-thinking human remnants merely being tolerated by the only intelligent life on earth, AIs. Yet others see nothing at all, since we’ll soon destroy the Earth before being able to leave.
Where do you see yourself in a world of AI and AR?
While you’re at it, where do you see yourself in that future? Not just the end game, but the transitional period in getting there. How will you and your children create a rich and meaningful existence in the coming 25-50 years?
- How will you educate yourself?
- What will you work with?
- How do you plan your investments?
- Real estate?
- Crypto currencies such as Bitcoin?
- What will governments look like?
- How will laws evolve?
Where’s your worth when power shifts from governments to tech giants, when cryptocurrencies make current tax regimes impossible to enforce? How do you plan to stay relevant in the future, a future where technology might be able to do everything you can do… for free?