“Mr. Robot, Homo Deus or an amateur dissection of the future”
Futurists have always been entertaining.
They mostly fail on timelines and predictions, but they are pretty keen on generalities and the vibe.
What future holds has always been the unknown variable. The only constant is change. And the fact it is unstoppable, despite us or our will. Even if it were collectively aligned, which it obviously is not.
Futurist assumptions on culture, subcultures, politics and ideology are side-scenarios that tell a lot about the present and are heavily geared with facts or data from the past. That’s why we love them so much. Besides, we are curious.
Most recently though, these have been foreseeing times of complete human surrender, even more tiered societies and cities, no social stairs and robots making decisions, surprisingly with no consciousness.
Yes, the sharpest minds of humanity are assured that we are algorithms (Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens and Homo Deus, for instance), but they are not the sharpest after all, compared with the capacities of future machines. However, even the latter will lack emotional feedback, which has not been hacked so far and perhaps won’t be anytime soon.
Here are some of the most popular versions on future broadcast by science, media, pop culture et al.
1. Unhappy folks chatting to Alexa and controlled by a mega-conglomerate (Mr.Robot, TV Series). And a bunch of coders deciding to end the world and organise a party for it. Change the world, pardon me.
2. No bullshit jobs, like Keynes predicted, with the advance of technology and the diminishing necessity and relevance of human labour and effort (Braeger, writer, anthropologist)
3. Emulations of 300 best versions of human brain, from artists to politicians, walking the Earth (not really, cause they’re not embodied) and ruling it much more efficiently. Retiring Sapiens, either floating in leisure and luxury or accommodated in lower cities with less to do and enjoy. Or nothing to do at all. We do not know whether this is the goal or a curse. And we most definitely will find other things to do, if given the luxury to (Robin Hanson, Oxford professor, author of “The Age of Em”). He believes compassion, sex and liberal democracy will not be of interest for much longer. At least during this transition time.
4. Dataism replacing religion, when we worship union of data units, exhibiting the trusted truth. Post-God society inhaling information to share it and reproduce more (Yuval Noah Harari, Historian, author of Sapiens and Homo Deus).
5. Humans falling for their Os-s, due to the enchanting voices and the complete customisation to our selves (Her, movie).
6. Family bots craving freedom, as their consciousness awakens (Humans, TV show, Channel 4). More of a ‘what if’ situation.
These are the basics. I am still omitting all the chat around cyber-warfare, drones protecting drones from attacking other drones, bio-weapon threats, debated over and over again by the Union of Concerned Scientists (yes, it exists), good old Singularity and the prospects of amortality, of course.
During the times of Soviet Union, bullshit jobs were king. The system was about keeping all occupied. Not pre-occupied though. Not a fan and not a socialist, I wish there was a happiness survey back then. Or now. Or at any point in the past.
Would it matter? Who is to assess our assumptions encrypted into a system catering to all? This could matter, if we were determined to make the occurrences more suitable to our needs, physical, social and emotional.
A Hindu friend of mine mentioned once that the longest way towards God is knowledge. The shortest is love. It has been my answer to most atheist inquiries calling for common sense. It also suits to any of your definitions of God.
Seems like we, as a race, are choosing the longest way. I still hope not. Btw, robots can’t hope:)
P.S. If you want to be a part of designing the bots of the future and help us make them nicer and certainly more empathic, please adopt a bot now. Sign up here: http://mindbin.co.uk/story/
P.S.S. If you want to have a more serious and meaningful chat on emerging tech and its makers, join us here: http://www.meetup.com/humanisingtech/
And finally, if you feel like you have a story to tell or want to chat about life, tune in here and subscribe to our podcast coming soon: http://thelife.cafe/category/blog/
Ciao for now, humans!