[ Will people be 150 years old in the future? What should we do with all this time? And what do words like youth and age mean?
"At the dawn of the third millennium, humanity awakens, stretching its limbs and rubbing its eyes, the remnants of a terrible nightmare still buzzing in its head (...) Then humanity makes a cup of coffee and opens the calendar. Let's see what's on the today’s agenda."
With these sentences, Yuval Noah Harari, a historian at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, begins his vision of the future "Homo Deus", in which he thinks ahead of the history, Homo sapiens in the center of new technologies.
For instance, when robots conquer the labor market, he states: "People have to do something, otherwise they go crazy. What will they do all day long?" The answer points to splitting: some manage to adapt, others are left behind. According to Harari, homo sapiens evolve into Homo Deus - the person who strives to be a god.
His theory: The three great plagues of humanity are increasingly losing their terror. Hunger, illness and war are no longer "inevitable tragedies" but challenges that can be overcomed. The problems of today, such as wars, were due to human error and were not based on a divine or natural imperative. All this has consequences:
Increasingly, people want to be more than just healthy, they want to live forever.
They want to be more than just full, but permanently happy.
Their desire for peace is replaced by the desire to evolve.
In this triad - immortality, happiness, and God-striving - Harari surmises no less than the great fields of conflict of the 21st and perhaps 22nd centuries. Debates will open in them, he writes, we can only imagine which at the moment.
Hollywood takes a look beyond the box and shows us in a new series „Altered Carbon“ that humanity could be "immortal" by the year of 2200. Then, we will replace diseased body parts reproduct organs and eradicate diseases by genetic engineering.
Back from Hollywood to the hard-hitting science: even the less optimistic assume, that our lifespan will soon rise to 150 years. Let's take a look at the effect of the long lifetime. In the near future, many jobs will be eliminated, "AI" or the robot / neural network becomes a colleague. First, it hits the transportation industry like truck or taxi drivers. Surely, this will also create new jobs. There will be a demand for: technicians, artists, media people, other creative professions and exclusive craft trades. However, it is questionable to what extent the "future unemployed" can adapt to the new jobs.
Harari faces the last and the ultimate journey. The "upgrade possibilities" seem limitless: biotechnology allows us to change our own nature.
Create brain interfaces or develop bionic limbs - for example, instead of arm prostheses in the future to grow a real new arm? No problem. Upload our thoughts directly as data, be in many places at the same time, maybe even travel to strange planets. But "what happens when we can completely change the mind and body, can not really be said," Harari admits.
One thing is certain: So far people want to leave something behind - artists perpetuate, entrepreneurs create empires, scientists research and develop - all this for a "after their time". So the question is: "How to rebuild Homo Sapiens so that he can still feel happiness and joy when he suddenly finds himself in a fully automated near-infinity?" where the search for meaning is already difficult and drives some people into despair.
When there are no limits to what is possible, one thing will be more important than ever: to know oneself, much more intense than we do today. Stay creative!
Thanks for WIRED Story Shots of the food for thought on the most important questions of digitization: Link ]