What will become of humanity in five years? Technology is presenting us with astonishing new things and that hit me and my professional photographer friend hard today. I had bought a clip-on 5-lens kit for my iPhone for under $20 including shipping and was demonstrating it to him. He said he had spent over a thousand dollars on each of the five lenses and because they were much bigger and bulkier it would be impossible to get some of the shots I demonstrated on a coffee shop table in a few minutes.
That kind of sudden advancement is happening in many wildly different situations. CRISPR and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are just beginning to be felt by the public, but within a couple of years, both of those and many others will smack us hard. Those AI developments will probably be mostly welcome but without doubt, there will aspects of them that will be a problem and possibly horrible. The ubiquitous surveillance of our personal lives will make many things much easier but that comes at the cost of our privacy. We may think that we are not doing anything wrong but Big Brother might disagree about how you voted, or perhaps that you bought something from the wrong grocery store and must be brought back into compliance. Are you obedient to Google, or Amazon, or Disney or … who knows who or what? They are already watching you and might already not be giving you the bonus offers that they grant to their “good” customers. Not getting their bonuses is a mild punishment, but it could get much worse in the near future.
This post started off with a five-year time horizon but what if you are a twenty-year-old American female reading this post and go to the US.gov Life Expectancy Calculator? You will discover that you have a current life expectancy of 66.2 more years and on average will live to be 86.2 years. That gets you out to Christmas 2083. With the progress already whizzing past, what can you expect to be under your Christmas tree? Uh-oh, there probably won’t be any Christmas trees. Hmm? Well, with CRISPR in full flow your life expectancy will be much greater because all known diseases will have been long eliminated, cancer will be ancient history, and transportation deaths will have been eliminated. And, with AI being much more fully developed, nearly all of your life tasks will be taken care of, all of your needs met, and all of your pleasures readily available and totally saturated via Super Advanced Virtually Enhanced Reality (SAVER). Nice!?
There is the possibility/probability that someone or something will destroy the whole world.