Life in 2050
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The Day Begins
Bryan woke up with a gentle alarm in the form of the embedded chip that all humans had for interfacing with the 2050 digital device ecosystem. “So much less stressful than the antique alarm app”, he reflected.
His SiriBot AI secretary and assistant robot came up to his bedside and spoke. “What game would you like to play today? Cricket as usual?”
Bryan smiled. The thing he liked the most about his digital devices was the virtual reality and augmented reality sports he played every day. Getting up, he grinned in anticipation. “I’ll play cricket”, he said. “I’d like to play as Chris Gayle in the IPL, the Bangalore match. The 177*(65) run innings.”
“Done, sir”, said the assistant as she loaded the appropriate date and environment factors, complete with the cheering crowd, the commentators, the augmented reality bat, and the VR sim system that every house had to create the arbitrary life period that their owners wanted to live. The VR experience was so complete that even the smells and the running and talking to the virtual players seemed life-like, with your own wish to do whatever you wanted in the sim system.
Bryan played for two hours, and was drenched in sweat when he came out. The sim system had already reset itself to a blank setting and was ready for another simulation. The 1000-bit quantum computer that simulated the holograms, the interactions with other virtual characters, and the correct brain neurons to simulate when you, say, kissed a cheerleader (or went a little further), was ready for its next operation.
These quantum computers far exceeded any capacities, calculations and operations that classical counterparts had ever done. With the embedded human-computer-interface in the brain, the entire house could be controlled by mere thoughts of command. However, words were preferred as words could be more easily controlled and regulated than thoughts and feelings.
“That was fun”, said Bryan to the SiriBot. “What’s on my agenda today”?
“Well, sir, you need to choose your cuisine for the day and a human-interaction session is scheduled with your wife and children from 10 am — 2 pm. You will be going to Switzerland (virtually, of course, on the sim room and having lunch with your family. The 3-D food printer is a little low on creational supplies, you will need to schedule a refill. Your friends on the Virtual Simulation Ethical Control Council are waiting for your input on a few questions. Also, you need to finish your novel. Would you want a massage while you cleanse your body in the iBodyCleaner pod?”
“Just don’t overdo it, I’m a little sore in my lower back.”
“Oh, I know sir,” said the iRobot OS-based SiriBot. “We are bound by the Three Laws, after all.”
Bryan slowly relaxed and recollected the history of the Three Robotics Laws as the automated drones cleaned every area of his body. Jeez, but Isaac Asimov was right, he thought.
The Three Laws
Robots had initially threatened the human race as a superior being evolving past an inferior race, just as Elon Musk had predicted in 2018. Early prototypes had had multiple instances of human conflict incidents. After that, the Three Laws of Robotics were implemented — their text being:
The Three Laws were:
A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
They were introduced by the science fiction legend Isaac Asimov in 1942, and made famous in the movie I, Robot after Asimov’s book of the same name, Bryan remembered. Since Elon Musk’s 2018 prediction about AI destroying humanity, and the first malicious robot created in MIT in 2024 that murdered 391 people in the city before being melted down, every robotic being had these laws programmed into their operating system, iRobot. Any operation that violated the Three Laws was erased directly after processing in the core of the robot’s neural system. Humans and robots had lived in harmony after the introduction of the Laws.
“Tell the Ethical Control Council that I’ll see them at 4 pm”, he told SiriBot. “I have more important things to do.”
“Yes, sir. Your wife and children are ready now.” Since the creation of SimLife holographic Virtual and Augmented Reality Systems in 2045, named after a popular computer game first created way back in 2000, physical travel and physical contact were reserved for family, friends, and disaster conditions or emergency situations. All environments, weather conditions, experiences, sights and sounds, bodily emotions, sensations, and feelings, could be simulated by the quantum computer master system installed in every home, worldwide.
Bryan used a Neuralink-controlled Segway to travel to the door. He remembered the last carbon emission vehicle being decommissioned in 2031 courtesy Tesla’s electric vehicles, the sustainable solar and wind energy harvesting installation providing 100% of the world’s energy supply in 2028 by SolarCity, distributed ledger systems (DLT) democratizing wealth and social circumstances as early as 2030 by Hedera Hashgraph, the first 200-qubit general purpose quantum computer developed by China in 2027, Maglev trains being installed worldwide by Hyperloop in 2030, the first sentient robot developed by QuantumAI in 2035, the first viable SimLife prototype in 2040.
So much technology, so many quantum leaps, so many tipping points, in so little time, he thought. It’s a wonderful time to be alive.
“Hi, dad!”, squealed his youngest child, Steve, all of 8 years old and already showing excellent promise and potential in computer-generated artistry. His elder child, Natasha, 10 years old and incredibly talented in e-sports, waved with her characteristic winning smile that made everyone around her feel happy always. The kids hugged him. And behind them, walking slowly and enjoying every moment of this happy scene, came his wife, Carol. Meeting her eyes, he laughed for sheer joy.
Tell Me How It Works, Dad!
“So, I don’t get it, Dad”, said his younger child, Steve. They were (on the SimLife quantum computer master simulation environment) on a mountainside in Switzerland having a pleasant picnic and enjoying the cool Swiss summer. As they ate their 3D-printed food (Steve was having a pepperoni pizza, Natasha a deep-fried cheese lasagne, Carol a German sauerkraut, and Bryan himself a South Indian Mutton Biriyani- his favorite) synthesized from the raw materials processed by their robot cooks. “There was a time when no one had quantum computers?”
Bryan swallowed a mouthful of his biriyani. “Yes, Steve. General purpose quantum computers came into being only in 2027, and China was the nation that developed it. The key was that outer space was already an excellent temperature to perform quantum computing. The first general purpose quantum computer was built in orbit by a set of Chinese engineers. They found very fast that a 200 qubit quantum computer enabled — well — wonders, for lack of a better word. It wasn’t just algorithms and computation. We could simulate any system anywhere in the world if we had a quantum computer with over 100 qubits. It was quite a discovery.”
“You said some of the people in the world had no money once upon a time. Is that really true? How could the rest of the world endure the guilt?”, asked Natasha.
“Yes, Nat. Before tokenization and hashgraph democratized wealth and the rich understood that it was detrimental to their own existence that others lived without basic necessities, there were poor people. No food. No water. Lots of illness.”
“Seriously?”, asked Steve, stupefied with wonder — and some shock.
“Yes, Steve”, said Bryan patiently. “The time between 2025–2030 was marked by a drastic outreach of kindness and the creation of wealth as modified versions of cryptocurrency were adapted by the richest nations for in a wave of compassion to reach every nation that was in need. We actually mark 2030 as the year that poverty became a thing of the past. It was basic human rights. Distributed Ledger Technologies were used everywhere. Everywhere. Every company that was profitable only survived because they knew how to use DLT and minimize processing and bureaucratic delays between business operations. Governments saw that regulation and no bans were necessary to generate the wealth that the poor needed. The earth always had enough for her people. It was just that the distribution was unequal. The inequality was removed by the power of DLT and tokenization.”
“Then you said our robots were controlled 20 years ago. How do you have a robot that has no autonomy? That’s crazy!”, exclaimed Natasha.
Bryan smiled internally, recalling the enormous ethical debates that had sprung up once QuantumAI built its first completely autonomous robot. To his kids, he said,” In 2035, the first 100% sentient autonomous robotic artificial life was built by QuantumAI. We modelled vision by 2023, hearing by 2026, touch and taste by 2028. Of course, computers spoke as early as 2020.The key insight was that once every subsystem of a human being was modelled or simulated in software, we essentially had sentience since the robot, still being simulated, did everything a human being could do, including reproduction and creativity. Computer systems were painting and composing as early as 2017. But complete functionality was reached only in 2035. So, we had robots thinking by themselves only even just 15 years ago”. “I’m serious, I’m not kidding!”, he grinned while he told them, as his children were looking awestruck.
“So, our robots now do everything we want without us governing them too much. The Three Laws of Robotics prevent any conflict between man and machine. And nearly all robots today are autonomous. Install and forget. And they do everything we can and many things we can’t.
“Such as?”, asked Steve.
“Well, they operate all our quantum computer space installations, and we terraformed Mars using massive robots that added water and oxygen to the Martian air. Now that was something. We let robots build robots. Some of the terraforming machines were more than 10 miles in radius, and even as high. We hope to inhabit Mars without life-support systems around 2100.”
“Terraforming means changing the planet’s atmosphere and habitat to suit the human body and humanity’s needs, through robots and matter synthesizing quantum computing systems. Kind of like our 3d food printing synthesizers.”, Carol explained to the kids.
“Is that even possible?”, asked Natasha, wide-eyed.
Bryan thought back to 2040, when SpaceX had first proposed the idea. It was met with complete disbelief and doubt, yet our robotic systems worked perfectly. “Kids, if there’s anything I’ve learnt till today, it’s don’t say something is impossible. Napoleon Hill wrote so beautifully in 1937, “What the mind of man can conceive, the hand of man can achieve” in Think and Grow Rich, his all-time classic. There is nothing that mankind can do, because after all, as the Bible says, we are made in the image and likeness of God Himself.”
“My friend from China says God doesn’t exist”, said Steve, matter-of-fact.
“Well, it’s up to everyone to decide. The International Religious Strife Ban was passed in 2024 and outlawed all wars fought in the name of religion. Any nation participating in a religious war was deprived of critical technology and knowledge workers that they desperately needed. Once people understood that, war based on religion became a thing of the past. It’s a very subjective and personal topic. The current trend of thought is freedom of worship, to believe in any religious system that harmonizes with the concept of life as we know it today. Don’t worry about your friend, and trust that you will understand more as you grow older”, said Bryan to his son.
“What do you believe, dad?”, asked Natasha.
Bryan paused. What did he believe? “I think I can say that we exist, the Universe exists, and had a beginning. And I believe that the only way to make peace with our existence as being prone to death is to believe that we exist after we die. Which means that we go somewhere, to someone. I believe that God exists, and that ethical behaviour is rewarded in our next life. The life after death.”
“You believe in life after death with no proof?”, asked Steve, sceptically.
“Son, believe me, there is plenty of empirical proof. Near death experiences and supernatural manifestations of miracles have existed from the earliest time of humanity till today. Systematic study will lead to the belief in a possibility of the next life. And physics proves it. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be transformed from one form to another. And matter is energy in a stable form. So, we do not stop existing after death either. In that case, we must have an existence. Hence the understanding that the laws of physics themselves show that life after death is real. But no compulsions. Everyone is free to believe whatever they like, as they like, in the way they like. Freedom of worship is a fundamental right of humanity. Or, like your friend, even not to worship at all”, Bryan explained to his son. “But it’s different for every human being, personally. And that’s all right. Because that’s the way it should be. To really live life, we need freedom in everything we do.”
“Time for you to prepare for your conference, sir”, said the SiriBot, through their Neuralink interfaces.
“He’ll be there in a minute”, replied Carol. “OK, kids, pack up, it’s been a great lunch. Steve, you need to practice your art coding competition sections. And Nat, you’re due with your team for your next round of PUBG (Planet Unknown Battle Grounds) in another hour.”
“Can’t wait”, grinned Natasha.
2050’s not a bad time to live at all, thought Bryan. In fact, life just keeps getting better with time.
The family entered the reset environment together and exited the SimLife platform in ten minutes, the time required for a full reset of the quantum computer.
Bryan deeply loved and cherished his kids. Natasha had scored a 99.9% percentile score in reflexes and response times on the CGAT (Computer Game Aptitude Test) as early as 7 years old. Her progress from then on had been meteoric. She was ranked among the top 50 in the interplanetary arena and had achieved quite a celebrity status among her peers and the larger PUBG planetwide gaming community. Steve was just as talented, but in a totally different direction. He was a top ten computer art programming competition finisher in practically every single art through computer programming tournament he entered and was making quite an income for a child all of 8 years old. His artwork generated with his coding skills had consistently received rave reviews from the public and the Interplanetary Artist’s Hashgraph Blockchain Community.
With his artwork receiving over 50 million views a day worldwide on the interplanetary VR master quantum Internet, it was something of a joke to Bryan and Carol that the kids were the earning members of the family, for all practical purposes. But he loved them not for what they did, but who they were — his kids. All additional income was just an added benefit. And they cherish me even more than I cherish them, he thought, rubbing out a tear of parental pride and joy from his left eye as he mused.
Maybe that’s what it’s all about.
Life in fullness.
No master quantum computer simulator can hit that even with a one million word-width instruction set architecture (ISA).
That’s what keeps us human.
From 7050 BC to 2050 AD, that hasn’t changed.
The kids left for their activities.
Bryan turned to his wife, and before she could open her mouth, kissed her on the lips and held her close to his chest.
“We have much to be grateful for”, he said.
“I know”, said Carol, and kissed him back.
The Ethical Virtual Simulation Council Committee was waiting.
Let them wait, he thought.
He said, “You think, we could… you know.”
Carol looked at him quizzically. ” Know what?”
“That”, he whispered gently, a thrill going through the very core of his being.
Carol kissed him again. “The kids won’t be back for at least four hours. Yes, please!”
“SiriBot, ask the Council to wait for a couple of hours. Tell them that I had an unavoidably urgent situation that came up as a complete surprise to me and delay the meeting by 2 hours please”, said Bryan through his Neuralink.
Carol laughed and embraced him. One last logical thought came to Bryan as he pressed her close to his body and removed his Neuralink and let biology do its work -.
Even with all of quantum computing, VR, AR, DLT, ML, AI, blockchain, IoT, hashgraph and robotics, this remains the greatest joy and gift of life.
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