The world’s timeline between 2022 to 2045. Each date features two events and one data point.
A Day In the Life in 2045
Phuong Nguyen, Berlin, Germany, 88
“Sorry, the weather washed away my manners. I’m May, and this is Stan. We’re with the Insight Journal. And we’re interviewing the people with the highest Credibility Scores since the introduction of HONESTY. You wouldn’t know a Mrs. Phuong Nguyen by any chance? She’s supposed to have a restaurant around these parts.” The woman smiles, failing to wipe the steam from her glasses. “This is she.”
The two journalists share a glance. May fumbles to grab her soaked-through notepad. Stan pulls out the microphone from deep within his jacket. “Mrs. Nguyen, can you tell us about your usual day?” “Well, it’s nothing special, really. First, I go to the market. Early.” She starts to make something warm for the two drowned journalists.
The sun is low in the sky, the morning fog slowly burning off. Streets are empty apart from the odd early-bird walking their dog or going on a morning run, passing the calm Phuong on the sidewalk. Vendors unpack crates by the three-story-high gardens along the modern glass fronts. She passes the dozens of city farmers, one by one waving and smiling when they see Phuong’s face. Large double doors open one by one. Her glasses are fogging up with the shift in strong humidity. The entrance displays: “Access granted. Welcome to the Vertical Markets.” She walks past the towering frames with fully grown fruit trees, meters-long vines draping over them. She smells and picks a handful of tomatoes calmly. Tall automated harvesters work alongside her, scanning the fruit. Reaching for those highlighted after the scan. Phuong looks at the faceless machine and shakes her head. It scans again, less are called out. The harvester hands them to his instructor for approval.
A large woman wearing gloves, a hairnet, and an apron marked with a jolly whale, reading Berry’s Fish Corner, lifts a hefty bag from behind the counter. The display is packed with perfectly square-shaped fish, price tags updating every other minute. The corner signed “sea-fish” is entirely empty, the prices substantially higher. “Sorry about the lab fish. No fresh stuff this time. Maybe let Paula send a little over before the shipment goes out?” says the woman behind the counter. Phuong smiles, “I will ask how her reef is doing.”
Phuong passes dozens of stalls and food trucks along the northbound track. She greets everyone with a deeply carved, content smile. A busy crowd of morning commuters chaotically shout their coffee orders between phone calls and online meetings. “Morning, Christopher,” Phuong says warmly. “Mrs. Nguyen. The usual. Espresso and a cinnamon bun. Next time, wave, and you’re the first.” says the stalwart barista. “You’re too sweet, Christopher. See you for lunch at mine?” she asks. “Wouldn’t dare otherwise,” he answers without a doubt.
Phuong struggles to open the side of her truck. Two strangers from the crowd help immediately. They seem to struggle similarly but are too stubborn to admit it. Between sips of her coffee, she prepares the recently bought ingredients inside the van. A long line forms, and she happily greets everyone before flipping her sign to open. Contrary to the morning coffee rampage, everyone waits patiently. Suits from the office complex across the street, typically not having the time to eat and breathe separately, now calmly sit and await their turn. The steady stream of customers only wavers when the rain picks up.
A flame kicks up in the pan. May spots the screen between the stove and counter, tracking the precise ingredients. “Are you ever afraid people will steal your recipes?” Phuong shrugs. “If they want to learn to cook, let them. I learn from everyone, family, friends, and the people around me.” She points at the closed-up trucks and stands. “I’m not as spry as I used to be. When I’m no longer around, I would be honored if people still eat my food.”
“Are you sure you don’t want us to drop you off somewhere?” May asks for the dozenth time. “You two are too sweet. I’m sure,” says Phuong. Stan closes the cover of the van in the battering wind quickly before Phuong reaches for it herself. “Best dinner I’ve had in ages,” he smiles. “You make an old woman blush,” she slaps him lovingly on the shoulder. Seeing her last customers of the day run into the rain. “The shortest route home is four minutes,” a warm voice speaks from her watch. “Thank you, HONESTY,” Mrs. Phuong Nguyen responds. Walking off in the brief dry minutes before the showers return. The rhythmic drum of the last northbound track calling in the night.
Paula Maria Nguyen-Perez, Reef Rejuvenation Post 21, Maldives, 32
First light breaks the ocean’s surface in the East. The curtains draw open. Waves gently lap against the far glass wall overlooking the Indian Ocean in all directions. The satisfying purr of the coffee machine would shake any gentle snoozer happily awake. Brightly colored plants submerged in bottles, vials, and basins adorn the floating apartment, the glass displaying the needed water, minerals, and sunlight. The orange morning glow travels with the opening curtain past messily dropped clothes, an upside-down book on a chair next to a long cold cup of tea. The alarm goes off when the morning light greets the vintage clockwork. Only to reveal an empty bed, perfectly made.
A young woman pushes herself up from the water on the wooden docks, wiping her wet black hair from her face. “Good morning Paula, you slept 4 hours and 43 minutes. I strongly advise….” “Thank you, HONESTY,” Paula interrupts. “Are the new results in?” “Yes. The kelp farm produces 10% over the estimated quantity. You are free to use this for your personal consumption. Coral rejuvenation has proven effective. Attracting 3 new species as of this week — Your coffee is ready.” In one motion, Paula drops her towel on the barstool and grabs the steaming mug from under the machine. “Continue.” “The fish population is up to 32%, projecting to be recovered in 2 years 4 months… 5 months… 3 years, and… 4… 5… There seems to be an error in my projections, recalculating.”
Paula’s calm demeanor shifts, looking at the readout on the nearest screen for the first time. “You’re never wrong. Analyze camera footage. Look for dumped exotics, oil spills, anything.” “No wayward lifeforms from outside the ecosystem nor chemical anomalies were detected.” Paula drinks the coffee in one go. “I can strongly advise eating one of the recommended choices from the easy healthy breakfast list before starting your…” “Thank you, HONESTY. I’ll try that tomorrow.”
Paula pulls her wet hair in a tight ponytail and grabs a pair of binoculars from the desk at the window, quickly walking to the edge of the docks, scanning the horizon. Methodically, she examines, quickly passing the rising sun from her view, to prevent herself from being blinded. Frustrated, she looks away. ”Can’t see anything. HONESTY. Request a job for Data Pilot 308 for an emergency scan east of Rejuvenation post 21.”
Paula nervously paces back and forth while rubbing her watering eyes. The dialing tone looping. “Paula!” The red-haired woman shouts loudly on the video call, food spilling from her mouth. Her face is lit by bright neon lights in the late night. “I’m at your gran’s. Was thinking of….” Paula rushes to the screen. “Finley, I need you on a job,” she says in a stressed tone. “Double pay, alert rate, whatever you need, can you jump in right now?”
A drone flies over the floating sea-surface apartment in the middle of the Indian Ocean, passing by Paula standing and waving on the docks. It quickly disappears from Paula’s view into the rising sun. “Finley. What do you see?” Paula asks impatiently. “Nothing yet. Thought we could catch up a little now, you finally call me back after hearing nothing for a month.” Paula interrupts Finley’s casual chatter. “Something is reverting a year’s work every minute. Please. Can we catch up later?” “No wonder,” Finley says. The drone closes in on a massive fishing vessel. Seagulls diving down to the deep sea nets full of colorful schools of fish. Upon scanning the contents the drone dodges the heavy hooks and chains pulling up the catch, nearly cutting the data upload short.
Fist-sized geometric cages are 3D printed simultaneously. Paula places a colorful piece of coral from a basin into a similar geometric print. From a screen in the background sounds: “A quick response from a local marine biologist and exceptional data pilot resulted in the IBI intercepting the illegal fishing vessel in the early morning. Putting a stop to the unanswered damaging of rejuvenation reefs throughout the Indian Ocean. This is the last rogue fishing vessel not conforming to the IBI sanctions on record.” A message from Finley pops up on Paula’s watch. “Looking forward to that drink.” Paula smiles, responding. “Everything for my ‘’exceptional data pilot”.”
The water surface breaks. Paula, carrying a bundle of coral sprouts, swims down to the heavy lines scorching her colorful reef. She places the cages containing the peach-colored coral on the ocean floor. Dive after dive as the bright blue sea turns navy, orange with the setting sun. Eventually, placing the last coral sprout by the pale green light of her flashlight. The jagged scar left behind by the heavy bottom trawling nets, now colorfully dotted.
The coffee machine pours. The curtains draw open. The alarm hits its hammer rapidly. Paula fails three times before silencing the vintage menace. “Good morning Paula, you slept 8 hours and three minutes. Great work. Your coffee is ready. Can I advise you on choosing the easy healthy HONESTY breakfast selection?” “Sure, surprise me,” Paula groggily says, muffled by the pillow where her face is still buried. A noticeable pause silences the room. Though incapable of surprises, HONESTY takes abnormally long to process the answer. “Coming right up. As for the repairs, that you performed yesterday: they will counteract the vessel’s damages in 6 months and 15 days.” The sun passes the eastern horizon, reflecting off the calm surface. Below, a colorful school of fish leaves the reef to dance above the color-dappled lines across the seafloor.
Answers to prompts
A. AGI is limited to a supporting and advisory role in order to remain safe and controlled. The interaction between AGI and the natural surroundings, where it would obtain the ability to act and intervene independently, or perform independent decision-making, is not allowed. AGI is developed and deployed under human supervision and regulatory measures.
Regulations contain measures for safe and controlled development and implementation of AGI. The International Bureau of Information (IBI) is a regulatory body with the goal to “guard the credibility of information in our future world”. The IBI develops international standards and norms that set the requirements for the development and implementation of AGI-systems in a safe and controlled manner.
Developing complete and anticipatory regulation remains a challenge. Therefore, in addition, a community of experts watches over the safe and controlled manner in which AGI is developed and implemented. The HONESTY task force developed the HONESTY AGI and set-up an international network of experts that perform peer-reviews. This network plays an important role in monitoring the safe and controlled development of the HONESTY system according to the regulations set by the IBI, as well as the implementation of it.
Q. The dynamics of an AI-filled world may depend a lot on how AI capability is distributed. In your world, is there one AI system that is substantially more powerful than all others, or a few such systems, or are there many top-tier AI systems of comparable capability? Or something else?
A. The HONESTY AI System was initially set up by the task force as a centralized system with an international network of distributed nodes for feeding information into the system. In the first stage, it was set up as a closed system providing an information-verification tool for the UN, scientific community and military. The goal was to move towards a decentralized system consisting of multiple top-tier AI systems from the start. The introduction of Credibility Scores allowed for decentralization of the system by having external researchers and freelancers, with high Credibility Scores, to feed into- and further develop the HONESTY system. HONESTY 2.0 was therefore launched as a decentralized system with a distributed network of nodes.
Q. How has your world avoided major arms races and wars, regarding AI/AGI or otherwise?
A. As the UN struggled to solve global unrest, HONESTY assisted in providing transparency about military troops and global arms production for the first time during the diplomatic Conference of the UN General Assembly in 2030. During the UN General Assembly, it proved successful in providing a real-time estimation and global oversight into arms production and troops. After that, HONESTY was used to assist during diplomatic conversations between nations that followed, and proved instrumental in de-escalating major conflicts by providing transparency about military asset development.
Q. In the US, EU, and China, how and where is national decision-making power held, and how has the advent of advanced AI changed that?
A. Current centers of power have remained relatively unchanged, and existing governmental structures are similar to the year 2022. HONESTY has made a difference in placing “credibility of information” in the forefront. Politicians receive a credibility score, and are screened before entering a position of power. HONESTY became leading in uncovering national needs and priorities for the national agenda by assembling, assessing, and interpreting large amounts of data, and through providing predictions and recommendations.
Q. Is the global distribution of wealth (as measured say by national or international gini coefficients) more, or less, unequal than 2021’s, and by how much? How did it get that way? (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gini_coefficient)
A. The global distribution of wealth has moved into a more fair and equal distribution. With satellite-based internet enabling global access to the internet, and HONESTY launched for the public, a large-scale knowledge base of verified information became available to the world population. Limitations in access to education and scientific information were removed, and HONESTY is used in the development of new educational programs. This has contributed to improving education levels globally, and resulted in more people gaining access to better job opportunities with the potential to increase their wealth. Also, the EU and China decided to launch a basic income system. As a result, global wealth gradually moved into a more equalized direction resulting in the world population living below the international poverty line to decrease by 2%.
Q. What is a major problem that AI has solved in your world, and how did it do so?
A. HONESTY solved the spreading of misinformation, “fake news”, and the misuse of data. It is an AGI that is used in the areas of politics, science, climate, education and military providing a fact-based approach to the interpretation of data. Discussions or misunderstandings between entities and persons regarding the interpretation of information, or credibility of data, are overcome by the HONESTY AGI. The credibility of information is determined through a peer-reviewed network and AI processing and analyzing extensive amounts of data. Where before, your information was as good as the search you performed, HONESTY assists the public in real-time with verified information.
Q. What is a new social institution that has played an important role in the development of your world?
A. The International Bureau of Information (IBI), organized under the United Nations, is an institution that “guards the credibility of information in our future world”. It was set up in response to the global unrest about the misuse of information in business, politics and economics, as well as a response to the development of the “HONESTY” System. The IBI acts in the interest of society to safeguard future credibility of information. The IBI consists of experts in the field of data, AI, science and regulations. The IBI acts as a regulatory body in the development of norms and standards, as well as the development of the Credibility Score, to provide the instruments for safe and controlled development and implementation of an AGI System.
The IBI endured a lot of criticism over time from the public, challenging their own credibility. Once Credibility Scores were introduced, individuals of the IBI proved unfit, ironically, by the system itself. This led to a reform of the IBI, and national IBI representative elections to be held globally based on Credibility Scores. People outside the established political structures performed better than many of the former generation of IBI representatives during the election process of new representatives. The IBI continuously aims to improve the organization, and has managed to regain trust from the public.
Q. What is a new non-AI technology that has played an important role in the development of your world?
A. The capturing of data by drones played an important role to significantly expand the amount of data-points, for example, from areas that are difficult to access. It is done under human supervision to maintain a safe and controlled manner in which data is interpreted and fed into the HONESTY System. A freelancer or researcher with a Credibility Score obtains remote access for data capturing. The interpretation of the drone data is reviewed by the peer-reviewing system. Human supervision is key in reviewing the interpretation and acceptance of information into the HONESTY System. By doing so, potential hacks of drones, which can result in false or manipulated data being fed into the system, can be controlled and avoided.
Q. What changes to the way countries govern the development, deployment and/or use of emerging technologies (including AI) played an important role in the development of your world?
A. Countries have changed the way they govern the topic of patents. A global movement scrutinized the holding of privately owned copyrights, and aimed for making technological innovation available to all by following an open-source approach. Initially, it led to a drop in new patent registrations and stagnation in innovation, because of a rising uncertainty about the future of intellectual property ownership. As a response, the IBI started including patent registrations as part of the Credibility Scoring to stimulate the continuation of new technological innovation. As a next step, the IBI started buying patents and releasing it to the public to further push technological innovation.
Q. Pick a sector of your choice (education, transport, energy, healthcare, tourism, aerospace, materials etc.) and describe how that sector was transformed by AI in your world.
A. Due to the increased transparency in credible information, and a global network of collaborators to make verified information and new technological developments open to all, innovation has entered a new golden age. Global collaboration, that focussed on leveraging the power of advanced AI technology, has resulted in overcoming the challenges for fusion reactors and taking a massive leap in energy production. It resulted in the first fully functioning nuclear fusion reactor becoming operational, and providing the first step to an almost limitless supply of zero-carbon energy. Although some parts of heavy industry still use scarce supplies of fossil fuels, the majority of the population is provided with electrical energy from nuclear fusion.
Q. What is the life expectancy of the most wealthy 1% and of the least wealthy 20% of your world; how and why has this changed since 2021?
A. Life expectancy has increased for the most wealthy 1%, because of their financial means to gain access to the newest technologies that leverage medical data provided by HONESTY. Life expectancy has also increased for the least wealthy 20%, however, less in comparison. HONESTY has helped the least wealthy gain access to real-time health information and health-related recommendations through newly launched consumer-products. Also, misinformation about healthy products and lifestyle in the past have been replaced by HONESTY to benefit the least wealthy. This resulted in a noticeable increase of life expectancy for the least wealthy 20%.
Q. In the US, considering the human rights enumerated in the UN declaration, which rights are better respected and which rights are worse respected in your world than in 2022? Why? How?
In one other country of your choice, which rights are better respected and which rights are worse respected in your world than in 2022? Why? How?
A. In the US, HONESTY has played an important role to better respect the rights formulated under Article 11; the right to have all necessary resources available for defense in public trials. HONESTY is used in assisting and advising court cases by consulting information from previous court cases, verdicts and latest judicial changes. HONESTY provides a large and extensive knowledge-base at the disposal of the Court. The rights under Article 26 “Right to Education,” are also better respected, by creating a more equalized education system. HONESTY has increased general accessibility to a knowledge base of verified information, and was used to improve existing education programs. With the introduction of the Credibility Score for politicians, the rights formulated under Article 21; “Right to take part in the government of his country,” became worse respected for politicians in particular. They are screened for their Credibility Score, before entering a position of power. This may have made their entry of taking part in the government of a country more complicated.
In 2022, the Chinese population was experiencing challenges in free and open information-sharing through any media. With the introduction of HONESTY, verified information became available to the global population. The Chinese government started slowly, but progressively, sharing information with HONESTY, and allowing it to the Chinese population. It led to rights regarding free publishing of information, formulated under Article 19 “Right of freedom of opinion and expression,” to be better respected. On the contrary, the Chinese government did receive criticism about a strategic “clean-up” of information resulting in a counter-effect of the rights under Article 19. Overall, the country was praised for an unexpected transparency to its population, and a collaborative mindset on a global level.
Q. What’s been a notable trend in the way that people are finding fulfillment?
A. Living the “HONEST” lifestyle has become a trend with “health culture” and “green lifestyles” experiencing increasing popularity, supported by accessible and verified information on healthy purchases and dietary choices. As a counter response to the HONEST-lifestyle, opposing groups are vocal about their disbelief in the HONESTY System, claiming it to consciously increase the misuse of information as a means to influence the public. These groups turn to radically boycotting the usage of HONESTY in their daily lives or the use of technology in general.
For many in society, job purpose remains very important in leading a fulfilling life. HONESTY provides a way to find meaningful careers and have a positive impact. Becoming a researcher or scientist in a particular field of expertise is perceived as a rewarding career, because contributing to HONESTY means that you are shaping and uncovering the future potential of your area of expertise.