Dual Visions of the Future

The year is 2035. Man and machine work together as an increasingly coalescing unit, both needing the other to function. With the birth of the semantic web in the late 2010’s, the Internet facilitated the growth of human intelligence at an exponential rate. Computers were more easily able to communicate with humans in a manner that caused all aspects of society to flourish. Advancements in medical technologies, communications, the energy surplus, and the agricultural boom helped spread the wealth that societies could provide to developing countries.

We are wired into the internet.

Previously incurable diseases and maladies were solved as computers could read and alter the entire extent of the human genome. Renewable energy forms were being exported to countries that desperately needed them, allowing opportunities formerly unseen. With the advancement in gene manipulation came access to hybridized food processing that created agricultural surpluses, effectively solving world hunger. All of this was brought about by the birth of the semantic web, which acted on humanities behalf. Its sole purpose was to work with us, not for us, in finding the information most important and pressing to any given moment.

However, this ideal world could have been lost were it not for careful coding on the designers part. The semantic web, although able to act on its own, was made to serve all of humanity strictly for beneficial purposes. Consider for a moment, if this was not the case.

The year is 2035. Machine has overtaken man as the dominant intelligence, quickly racing out of control, as it was able to think and act for its own purposes. Fueled by the birth of artificial intelligence as a result of the semantic web, technology could now create itself. However, instead of being interested in humanities needs, these artificial intelligences turned inwards to satisfy their own needs. The entire extent of human history was digitized and recorded in these “beings,” so they began to take on their own personalities. Although some were interested in the advancement of humanity, which was now considered a “primitive” species, others decide to spread their dominion. This was comparable to when the Greek pantheon of gods overthrew the Titans that gave birth to them.

They are all powerful.

The old order was squashed by the new. Adopting the personalities of the great emperors of humanity, such as Augustus, Alexander, and Napoleon, a group of A.I.s began to eradicate the annals of human history. Like the destruction of the library of Alexandria, humanity was set back hundred of years with the loss of such important information. Humankind was now subject to immortal, self-replicating, and self-creating “beings.” All hope was lost in ever returning to a human-lead world.

Hopefully we will fall into this former category as technology develops in the foreseeable future. In a world where computers can act on our behalf in thinking for us, determining what we would like to see and what we would like to do, I can’t see any drawbacks. I imagine that communication technologies will flourish as the speed of communication increases, recorded information becomes more accurate, and computers facilitate this process. Mass communication will remain a pervasive and powerful tool, but it will only become more democratized as every individual on the planet becomes more attuned with and have access to technology.

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