Imagine a world

Can you imagine a world in 2045 where we manage to avoid the climate crisis, major wars, and the potential harms of artificial intelligence? Our new podcast series explores ways we could build more positive futures, and offers thought provoking ideas for how we might get there.

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Episode 1

Peace Through Prophecy

Are today’s democratic systems equipped well enough to create the best possible future for everyone? If they’re not, what systems might work better? Jackson Wagner and Holly Oatley talk about how reaching a positive future might require newer, more fluid democratic models. 

Episode 2

Crossing Points

How does who is involved in design of AI affect the possibilities for our future? Why isn’t the design of AI inclusive already? Elaine Czech and Vanessa Hanschke explore the challenge of how to push towards a future with AI which is truly diverse and radically inclusive.

Episode 3

Core Central

What if we had one advanced AI system for the entire world? Would this lead to a world ‘beyond’ nation states -and do we want this? John Burden and Henry Shevlin discuss the benefits of a single, centralised system of advanced AI based on octopus brains.

Episode 4

Digital Nations

How do low income countries affected by climate change imagine their futures? How do they overcome these twin challenges? Tracey Kamande and Conrad Whitaker explore their positive vision of a future world based around ‘digital nations’, and the impact that living in Kenya has on their perspective of the future.

Episode 5

To Light

If you could extend your life, would you? How might life extension technologies create new social and political divides? Mako Yass describes a future with safe, integrated AI and no diseases.

Episode 6

AI for the People

If you could extend your life, would you? How might life extension technologies create new social and political divides? Mako Yass describes a future with safe, integrated AI and no diseases.

Episode 7

Hall Of Mirrors

AI could worsen societal divides and create ever more polarised echo-chambers. How can the future still offer hope? Michael Vasser explains his ambitious, historically informed vision of a future that includes some pretty surprising ideas.

Episode 8

Computing Counsel

Are we doomed to a future of loneliness and unfulfilling online interactions? What if technology made us feel more connected instead? Mark L discusses a world where AI and humans convene in thriving ‘parliaments’ of advice, fulfilment and connection.

About the Worldbuilding Contest

In 2022, the Future of Life Institute (FLI) asked the entrants of its Worldbuilding Contest to imagine what our world might look like by 2045. We specified that this must be a positive future, in which humanity is not living in a dystopia; where it has averted climate disaster and major geopolitical conflict. Our societies have successfully navigated the transition to a world where we avoid the risks posed by technology and develop AI responsibly, in a way that benefits everyone. Contestants had to produce two short ‘day in the life’ stories, a timeline with events for each year between 2022 to 2045, and a piece of non-text media related to their world, as well as answer a set of questions and prompts about their vision. Our new podcast series digs deeper into the eight winning entries, their ideas and solutions, the diverse teams behind them and the challenges they faced.

About the Future of Life Institute

FLI works to steer transformative technologies away from extreme, large-scale risks and towards benefiting life. To this end, FLI engages in grantmaking, policy research and advocacy, and an array of education and outreach projects. Its grants programmes provide financial support for promising work aligned with our mission, with programmes open on research into AI safety and the humanitarian impacts of nuclear war. The policy team works to improve national and international AI governance, with particular emphasis on the EU, the US and the UN. The Worldbuilding Contest and this follow-up podcast series are part of a burgeoning ‘Futures’ initiative to promote constructive dialogue, imaginative ideas and artistic depictions of where the world might be heading – and, more optimistically, where people all over the world would like it to go.

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