7 Futurists Predict the Cosmic Era
Found this article in 'the facebooks' and it read like a breakdown of the Cosmic Era.
Le original article: http://futurism.com/images/heres-what-todays-exper...
Dr. Michio Kaku, professor of theoretical physics, City University of New York.
We will transition from an Internet to a Brain-net
The events of our lives will be recorded both digitally and emotionally
Our brains will be hooked into a computer to decode memories and thoughts
We will begin to feel and experience the pain of others.
Dr. Kaku has hit scored direct hits on the CogNet. Rather than making the jump in one leap, it is spread out with his vision of a cerebral network being fully realized in the hive mind generating OmniNet, but practically applied in a restrained fashion in the Cognitive Network.
Memories and experiences are created as artistic and economic ventures, sold as entertainment products, be it through something as aesthetic as the Inemuri salons to something as lavish and commercialized as virtual theme parks. Emotions are even made and sold as illegal substances in the form of kakugrams.
Technology such as the immersive Simulated Sensation Systems (S3 rig) connects the human nervous and limbic systems to the electrical inputs of the Cognitive network, evoking emotional, physical, and cerebral reactions. This technology goes both ways, recording biofeedback as well as causing it. This is also the standard immersive form of using the CogNet.
While Kaku probably has the idea of sharing empathy to spread compassion and consideration of others, the Cosmic era has found sharing the full spectrum of emotions is much more profitable, and rather than promoting empathy, it has done the opposite. With the holidays just around the corner at the time of this writing, Kaku would likely have us share the fears and doubts of others, to feel and understand concepts such as depression, introversion, and expand our consideration of those who are not as involved or happy with the holidays. The Cosmic Era sells the Holiday Experience, where instead of caring about others, the one human user if the central point of the holiday, to the exclusion of others. Those others are likewise involved in their own simulated holiday experiences.
Dr. Ray Kurzweil, Director of Engineering
3D printers will be able to print everything from cheap clothing to lego style housing modules to human organs that contain our own DNA
Virtual and augmented realities will allow us to visit people that are thousands of miles away, and create avatars of loved ones who have passed away.
Bioengineering breakthroughs will let us reprogram the human genome to eradicate diseases and transform the aging process.
Dr Kurzweil doesn't really stick to one segment of the Cosmic Era but a lot of his observations dance around the arena of arcanotechnology. 3D printing is an impressive new technology, and in terms of practical application, that is how we are going to do the replicator/nanoforge tech. Sub-assembly and even assembly line production is going to rapidly decrease in prevalence as technology reaches the point where instead of manufacturing something, a machine simply extrudes it, having assembled the finished product from tanks and vats of chemicals and then having run it through a finishing procedure. This tech as he points out can range from basic things like toys, clothing, tools, and so forth (the current 3D printers can and do work with metals, the completed printing just has to be fired like a piece of pottery, buning away and fusing the metal dust it was made from). The same goes for limbs, organs, and since organic matter can be printed, food can likewise be printed.
We've already discussed remote reality with the CogNet, but deceased loved ones can be recreated as an egomorph, compiled from brain scans and behavior profiles.
Bioengineering and gene modifications are a staple of the Cosmic Era, and after the old hereditary diseases were eliminated, pushing most common cancers and diabetes into the history books like polio and typhus, gene modding became a cosmetic fashion statement. This the working environment of the Cosmetologist and can range from a social statement like the Ko Girls to a lifestyle choice, as per the neko augments.
Dr. Peter Diamandis, Chairman/CEO XPRISE
JARVIS style personal assistants will become a regular fixture in our lives.
They will handle all of our correspondence, including emails, voicemails, and other forms of communication
They will scan our biometric data, monitor our health, and troubleshoot problems
They will conduct massive, instantaneous data searches to provide immediate answers to our questions.
While many of Diamandis' predictions are largely already covered by current smartphone technology (reference the smartphone breathalyzer) the technology he describes is the handheld MUSE that most people of the Cosmic Era own. The device interfaces with both the CogNet and the user, either through hand, eye, and motion capture tech, or through actual brain interfaces and wireless signals, while the JARVIS style functionality comes from the cathex synthetic personality and OS.
Once the technology is in place for casual brain linking to a handheld device, giving the device biomonitoring applications is remedial, and no more fantastic that the wristwatch that can calculate your blood pressure or heart rate. Such a device would be able to provide feedback to the user, as well as alerting medical professionals in the case of a medical emergency.
Dr. James Canton, CEO Institute for Global Futures
Human surgeons will operate remotely on patients using robots and robot doctors will treat patients and offer medical advice by phone.
Predictive medicine will transform healthcare. Medical devices that sniff our breath will diagnose early diseases and free DNA sequencing will analyze our future health.
AI will become smarter than humans. They'll be fully embedded in cars, robots, homes, and hospitals.Bitcoin will replace traditional hard money
Canton ventures strongly into the realm of computer hardware. Rather than human doctors performing surgery in the Cosmic Era, most surgical procedures will be done entirely be machines, either through dedicated surgical androids, or automagical devices such as the med-pod. Common medical issues would be addressed through the Muse mentioned above, with medications even being delivered without the patient being notified, such as getting antibiotics delivered the day you start feeling sick, because the biofeedback system noticed a spike in white blood cells 12 to 18 hours ago. Human medical professionals move to artistic applications such as the above mentioned cosmetologists, or will be found in the more barbaric parts of the Cosmic Era.
Machine intelligence is a major component of the Cosmic Era, and intelligent machines are everywhere. They can be found functioning as human/machine liaisons on the CogNet, operating fabrication factories (fabrictories?), piloting mecha, aerospace craft, running arcologies, and the general day to day operations of the megascale engineering that is the Cosmic Era. The cumulative intelligence of the highest end artificial intelligences in the Cosmic Era don't surpass the intelligence of humans, they surpass the intelligence of humanity.
Currency is something that I want to delve more into for the Cosmic Era, because with the integration of multinational machines orchestrating the CogNet it would make sense that the machines would institute a common form of currency to shift between themselves. With this stable, machine backed currency, it would be almost inevitable that humans of all nations would eventually accept this form of currency. It would liken itself to the non-physical nuyen of Shadowrun, but would probably function more like the in game currencies of more free to play games.
Dr. Amy Zalman, CEO & President, World Future Society
We will develop a full and complete map of the human brain.
It will help us understand how we form trusting and cooperative relationships and why we hate and fight each other.
It will ultimately allow policy makes to determine how humanity and society should be governed
Dr. Zalman would certainly be impressed with the arcanotechnology behind the artificial brain, as well as the technology that goes into creating scans of a person's mind to create the a for mentioned egomorph.
The science of how the emotional mechanics of the mind would certainly be understood, but in the dystopian light of the Cosmic Era, this technology isn't going to be used for such altruistic purposes of bringing people together, and setting aside long standing hatreds and differences. Instead it's going to be used for the much more mundane job of better creating trustworthy commericals brands, and how to appeal to a commercial audience for streaming entertainment. It will be how political and social personas will present themselves, and how those in places of power will control the flow of information and perception of this information to make sure that the common populace trusts who they want them to trust, and hates who they want them to hate. This would be a much more elegant and sophisticated application of the Two Minutes Hate of 1984 and the programmed hatred of Emmanuel Goldstein.
The fate of who and how mankind should be governed is still very much in flux in the Cosmic answer. The most pragmatic and efficient answer is to hand over the leadership of humankind to the most competent and capable minds on the planet. These minds all happen to be machines, which would be man surrendering to his own creation. Cites the statement that the most effective form of government is the benevolent dictatorship, or benevolent monarchy. To this end, there are varying degrees where nations have AISC government appointees and councils or thinking machines. Others are more humanocentric and robophobic.
Jason Silva, Host, NatGeo 'Brain Games'
The On-Demand revolution will collide with bioengineering, creating a marketplace of biological software upgrades.
Ubiquitous automation will continue to make our day to day lives infinitely richer, and self driving cars will completely replace traditional automobiles
We will move into a world where access completely trumps ownership
Silva is a bit too optimistic for the Cosmic Era. There will certainly be an On-Demand revolution and fixed installations will become a thing of the past. Rather than going and doing things somewhere else, the applications of the CogNet will make going out into streaming in. Conventional formats like broadcast television and radio will fade, as the busy schedules of the Cosmic Era do not allow for things such as a set time to watch a series episode or going to a theatre. The immersive entertainment goes from a group/communal experience to a private personal experience.
Biological software updates are possible, but the door for biohacking, faulty updates, and other basic computer issues going biological is not something the Cosmic Era is interested in.
Note to self: write something about a biosoftware update being infected with a computer virus that jumps to biological and then becomes an epidemic
Ubiquitous automation is increasingly common, and one of the cornerstones of the post-scarcity world. With micro-factories and fabricators printing and extruding what people need in fully biodegradable packaging, richness is replaced with single serving. This ranges from comparing a mass produced press board desk with a 100 year olf hand made wooden desk (efficient, but not rich) to mechanically extruded chicken nuggets to a French cut chicken quarter with lemon wine reduction. (Still, not rich) One of the things that futurists and technologists don't understand is that automation doesn't enrich, it cheapens. That's why the old coach built cars are worth millions, but my Korean built Kia is worth slightly more than it's weight/scrap value, despite being in most regards mechanically superior.
The tradition car will be completely exterminated by self driving cars the same way that horses were rendered extinct by the appearance of the automobile. There are always going to be people who have cars, even if those vehicles are reduced to luxury items that are status symbols or part of a hobby, and not a basic part of the daily lifestyle.
Access will trump ownership, and this becoming more an more apparent through our current and future iterations of entertainment technology. The Blu-Ray disc is very likely to be the last physical form of entertainment we buy. Everything is moving to streaming and downloading, complete with DRMs and such. Digital copies of movies cannot be borrowed, sold, taken to a second hand store, and thus, are not actually owned by the people who have them. (Do you own something, can you sell it? If you cannot sell it, you do not own it). Thus the underground and black market goods, they are just as likely to be hard copy entertainment as they are to be drugs and other illicit substances.
Mike Liebhold, Distinguished Fellow at the Institute for the Future
We will have a permanent lunar outpost built entirely by robots
We will live in a touchscreen world where nearly all surfaces will have computational power
Commerical spaceflight will take us to the moon
Liebhold is a little behind the Cosmic Era, as the Moon is inhabited by close to several million people, plus several times that in machines. In the past, humans would explore and pioneers and pathfinders would break the ground and blaze the trails for new settlements. In the Cosmic Era, there are armies of machines that once launched, with a central guiding plan, could travel to a destination and have cities built in time for the first ship of humans to move into upon arrival.
The touchscreen is going to be a dated technology, as virtual and holographic displays take over. Rather than almost every surface having computational ability, the computational ability will have the ability to access almost every surface, be it through optical monitoring, motion capture, voice capture, and other observational technologies.
Commerical spaceflight is a big deal in the Cosmic Era, and there are space road truckers, vying with interplanetary pleasure craft like cruise ships and military ships moving around making sure that everyone behaves up in space. Traveling from Earth to the Moon is comparable to taking an intercontinental vacation (New York to London) in the modern era, and traveling to Mars is an exotic intercontinental vacation (Detroit to Guandong) while traveling past the asteroid belt is visiting Antarctica or some other highly remote location.
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? Responses (4)
This is a very clever idea for an article, comparing and contrasting their predictions with your own world and vision. And providing much linkage. Nicely done! Also shows just how rich the Cosmic Era has become through your efforts that you can do this sort of them/me thing in the first place.
Silva seems just a tad overly optimistic in general to me. Still torn on my thoughts regarding the Singularity. I've been to a Kaku lecture (on YouTube :p) and imho he's slightly coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs.
I love taking real-world predictions and linking them so well to your fantasy world. Solid.
You can add:
'Elon Musk, CEO & Entrepreneur; Telsa, Space X, Solar City, and Open AI
- we will remain vigilant to guide research in ways to prevent a robotic apocalypse
- we be an interplanetary (and hopefully interstellar) civilization
- we will live in an electrified, automated world
- people and freight will get around in 750 mph bullet trains running in partially-evacuated tubes
He would have created a Dyson Sphere startup were he born in the Cosmic Era.
Honestly, Scras, this is a terrifying article. I would much rather assume that things go the way of the Star Trek universe than towards the dystopia of your setting. The self-driving cars alone pose huge problems: http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/08/highway-to-hack-why-were-just-at-the-beginning-of-the-auto-hacking-era/ Even today, nothing with an internet connection can be implicitly trusted, because someone will always find a way in. I can only imagine the horror of a world where EVERYTHING -- robots, buildings, even our own bodies -- is exploitable, nothing is private, and the value of human life becomes negligible.
Almost makes me want to develop a setting where things veer in the opposite direction, just to help me sleep at night.
The Cosmic Era is how I sleep at night. When it's out on the Citadel, in a binder, or written in Evernote, It's out of my head.