When looking forward to a new year, many people look toward the goals they set (and probably won’t meet) and what’s literally to come, whether that’s a new iPhone, car, or digital technology. For example, In 2019, we will most likely see additional applications of blockchain to other industries, new breakthroughs with AI, and the 3D printing of metals, which will have a large impact on the manufacturing industries. These technologies will revolutionize our immediate future, but their current applications also allow us to hypothesize about what they will enable us, as human beings to do, not just in 2019, but beyond.
Technology will certainly be a part of redefining what humans are in the future. We already know that blockchain will impact humanity, as we have seen through its work with refugees. In the future, blockchain will certify identities. This will blur the lines of nations and turn individuals into their own states. We will become autonomous creatures, certifying ourselves. Using this idea of the state dissolving, the thesis is that people will tire of “things happening to them” and will create like-minded tribes using technology to further democratize the world around them. For example, there will be Social Responsibility tax for funding, which will support the climate. And just forget about the stress of the holiday travel. Artificial Intelligence will enable teleportation.
Not only will technology essentially erase governments, but it will become one with humans. What does this mean? Our brains will become our devices, as we “read’ other people. Creeped out by this? Never fear! There will be a “do not share capability.” And, since our brains are now technology, we will be able to absorb knowledge in seconds. But, what if you are tired of being forced-fed content? Individuals will be able to co-create scenes at any time and be paid for the co-creation. Lack of privacy and the elimination of randomness from the human experience will be the downside, leading to cries for a “serendipity on or off button.” Individuals will have to be cognizant of their privacy being abused, and might want to demand payment for the use of their identities as product.
Maybe a great tradeoff for the elimination of privacy and randomness, is the possibility that we may never have to say goodbye to those individuals who have graduated to a newer dimension that we define as death. Whether we will have the ability to keep our consciousness alive via software or create an avatar of ourselves or loved ones, there is a very real possibility we will see people’s representation after what we define as death. Moreover, we will be able to protect ourselves to a greater extent with human enhancing tools at our disposal, including personalized home robots.
In my future, the technology of today will enable me to “see” or “hear” people whom I’ve met before. I may activate my “invisibility” option as to declare that I do not wish to be disturbed. My memory catalogue will be a service to me and potentially to others. In the words of Nikola Tesla “the present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked is mine.” The present is all these technologies, but this is the future for which I am working. As you look toward 2019 and beyond, what are you working for?