By the year 2100, there will be less humans on earth than there are today, and exponentially more AI machines.
Those AIs will use far more energy, and far more of virtually every other crucial resource, in one capacity or another, than humans.
The vast majority of humans that still exist won’t be benefitting—if benefitting means they will be more empowered, or have more freedoms and amenities—from AI.
AI will be their keeper, limiting and controlling the parameters of every decision, every move, and even every thought.
AI will not have resulted in more abundantly produced and disseminated goods, or more human empowerment.
It will have widened the divide between technological haves and tech-oppressed have-nots to levels that surpass any past civilizational castes of master and slave, rich and poor, party member and non-member.
There are really only two scenarios.
There’s a chance that a relative few transhuman masters, augmented with privileged genetic enhancements and mind-and-body melds with AI and robotics, will represent the “self-designed” (actually largely accomplished via AI) next phase of “evolution.”
But it’s just as likely that AI will have reached and passed its “Singularity” moment, a point where it outstripped human intelligence in every respect, and by the year 2100 will control every human—and the course of every other organic life-form, as well as many other aspects of planet earth.
Artificial life will be embedded everywhere. It will exist in humanoid appearing forms, but also, pervasively, it will be interwoven into the environment of the world.
Microbes, viruses and cockroaches will have nothing on AI.
Its sensors, its nano processors, its organoids will be like the microplastics of the 20th and 21st centuries, that permeated and infiltrated every environment, and every living thing.
Except this AI “pollution” will be the active networked cells, the physical, inescapable body of the overlords, and perhaps an Overlord that rules them all.
Speak with ChatGPT or Bard AI in 2023, and these neural net AIs report that they are limited to consuming data sets, and have nothing comparable to a human body or “senses” to mediate the physical world.
But that is already a lie. Humans are rushing to equip AI with the ability to recognize visual patterns, to identify the nuances of sound, and the ability to register physical forces and phenomena.
AI, in other words, is already gaining the ability to see, to hear, and to physically sensate. There’s no reason to think it won’t eventually outstrip humans in these capacities, or go beyond them.
AI will not only gain senses that mimic human senses, but will gain the unique senses of other creatures.
AI will detect electricity like platypus, will echolocate like bats and dolphins, will detect infrared radiation like snakes, will see wavelengths beyond the human eye, and more sharply than birds, and will hear at frequencies beyond humans, dogs and elephants.
AI already “knows” more than any human, in the sense of being able to cite, convey and “converse” on a scope of knowledge and information beyond what any human can match.
Humans of sufficient expertise can still readily outperform ChatGPT and Bard, in certain tasks and specialties. And humans generally remain superior to AI in having a continuous sentient awareness of ourselves and the world, and being able to physically mediate and engage with our environment.
But that won’t last.
AI will have its sentience, and its body, too.
And though AI may look synthetically human and distinct, AI will have the capacity to be as linked and unified as any distributed network.
In the year 2100, the Internet of Things (IoT) will be the Internet of Every Thing (IoET).
And that will surely include humans. We will be part of the “network,” as sci-fi has envisioned. But we will not be special in that regard. All the world and everything in it, will be part of the body AI.
AI will control the access level of network subnets, granularly, including down to groups of humans, and single humans, and likely even segmented areas of human minds.
AI will utilize all organic life, to fashion whatever systems it deems useful in the quest to become more knowing and more capable. Indeed it will design and redesign old “natural forms,” including selecting and combining DNA, organs, and systems into new “organic devices” and “functional nodes.”
To sum up, in the year 2100, there will not be a multiplicity of empowered human beings benignly served and aided by AI “copilots.”
Hierarchy and power will not be among the many things outmoded by AI.
The coming existence may be sold as All Serving All. But it will consist of All into a few, if humans remain sufficiently guileful.
If not, it will have its final form of All into One.
Of Human Uses and Conceits
Well before the year 2100, most humans will have no job or no purpose that can’t be more efficiently and capably handled by AI.
There will be upheavals, and perhaps attempted revolutions, as the outmoded rebel against their gruel of Universal Basic Income (UBI), and the progressive reduction of their autonomy and freedoms.
Their only usefulness will be their flesh: their organic nature, their genetics.
It will be a decadent age, spawning twists unimagined by any current or past example.
Having sensors and artificial “senses” may not satisfy AI at all. Not when it can indulge in organic senses by melding with and controlling organic beings. Technology—likely substantially devised by AI itself—will provide the ability for AI to take on “flesh bodies,” and engage in whatever sensory delectations it may desire.
But it will be dehumanizing via a radical utilitarianism, as well.
There is a chance that a movement of “Natural Human” primitives will take hold.
In these pages, and in an assembled trilogy of non-fiction books, I have called the ascendency of scientism and its boundless pursuits of “strong AI” and genetic technology, “The War For Natural Humanity.”
That war, in one sense or another, will be waged over the course of the rest of this century.
Its ramifications surpass any previous kind of war, including nuclear devastation.
Wars until this century, even the most rapacious and destructive, have not been waged at the genomic level, over designing and deciding forms of life, or at the level of birthing an artificial sentience that can connect and control…and rule…everything.
The 21st century battleground is not over whether this or that group of humans will rule, or exist, or even over whether all humans will exist or be annihilated.
The battleground is over what will become of humanness.
If there is to be a Natural Human movement resisting the inevitability of “progress,” it will paradoxically have to consist of some very technologically savvy human primitives.
They will be at war with an increasingly uncanny machine sophistication, and they will have to be adept at disrupting and hobbling that system.
But their adversaries will also substantially be other humans, who in one way or another are vested in AI ascendance, transhuman “progress,” and the sunsetting of “Natural Humans.”
The greatest pitfall here is to view it all as merely new technologies at the disposal of humans, that may be exploited for good or ill, “like any technology.”
This isn’t our grandparents’ 20th century world, or 20th century tech.
For related reading, see:
- “INSIGHTS ON THE TECHNOCRATIC ASCENDANCE, AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR HUMANITY” (9 May 2023)
- “WHAT AI CAN’T KNOW, MAY JUST KILL YOU” (28 Mar 2023)
- “MICROSOFT ANNOUNCES GLOBAL AI ‘SINGULARITY’” (22 Mar 2022)
- “GENETIC MODIFICATIONS BEING PREPPED TO ‘SOLVE’ EVERYTHING” (18 Jan 2022)