A Day In the Life in 2045
Elvin Ardiss, Mars, 12
I woke up early, with AI assistant blaring as loud as possible. He was made on Earth, and the accent setting was set to English (American), instead of English (Martian). He kept on misunderstanding me… The indoor skydiving championship was in a week, and I didn’t even have a routine. I went to get a drink and finished up a couple of last-minute assignments that were due later today. I felt my heart start to beat faster as I thought about the competition. Mom and I were going to Earth…
“Elvin! My dear, come down and eat your breakfast!”
“One second mom!” I shouted, vigorously trying to copy the final file onto the flash drive.
When I came downstairs, mom had the TV blaring out news. The text “PRESIDENT BLIP TO LAUNCH NEW SATELLITE” was painted on the screen, and a newscaster was examining the probability of the launch failing. President Blip is the first-ever AI Martian president.
Satellite launches from Earth were a relatively rare occasion. Most of them were assembled and built on Mars. “It is the DYSON-1A sat. The thing is supposed to beam down energy, but I don’t think the plan will work.” my mom explained dubiously, “Oh and by the way, did you finish the phonetics for Dolphin that was assigned for homework?” she said with suspicion.
“Of course I did!” I exclaimed. In reality, I stuffed it into my backpack hoping to finish it on the way to school.
I finished eating my breakfast, and headed to school in my Tesla drone-car. There, I saw many different beings. I saw “normal” humans, VR-controlled robots for the students that were not able to come to school, and some cyborgs like my best friend Theodemer Aragullan. Cyborgs all had some sort of birth defects that were detected before they were born, which then resulted in the embryos being surgically removed, and the brain data being downloaded onto a microchip and installed in the body. The body was made to be as realistic to a human as possible, with the cyborgs being able to taste, smell, feel, sleep, look like real humans, and even excrete waste. The cyborgs actually had an advantage, as they couldn’t get sick with human diseases. Cyborgs look for genetic code/defects, so all babies with defects are merged with robots to become Cyborgs too.
“Hey!” said Theodemer, “How are you?”
“Good! Are you excited for our languages class? I heard that we’ll be starting our new unit in Dolphinese!” I said excitedly, “By the way, did you learn the phonetics of the word list we got for homework?”
“You bet I did! See you in class!” gleefully responded Theodemer.
A few minutes later, everyone was happily bustling around the school, leaving their backpacks everywhere. The robots were struggling to clean up the mess. Then the head director, a human, came, calling everyone to class.
“Today we will be practicing how to speak Dolphin by talking to a real life dolphin through VR.” Oh god. Again.It was a more-or-less required language if you want to have a career of exoplanet explorer. But I just didn’t like it. It was all garbly, and fishy and it didn’t sound good.
“To all Cyborgs, you can just download the language Dolphin to your SSDs.” Yes. Being a cyborg was so much easier. To learn a language, you just download a file from the IPN (InterPlanetary Network). Most of the time, while the humans are trying to catch up, cyborgs solve complex mathematical problems, or revert to the default – computing a Fourier Transform from the onboard microphone. I don’t know why – it’s just a fun thing for cyborgs to do.
The class was interrupted by a rather loud cheese bell (cheese is used for bells because of a recent invention that changes the natural frequency. Don’t ask).
“President Blip is making an announcement!” the thing blared.
“Students, schoolteachers, principals, I invite everyone from each school from the Martial Territory to watch the launch of the DYSON-1A satellite in a few minutes. Please get your-” CRASH!! The vending machine fell onto the floor, the robot on top of it with a wrench. The snacks flew all across the hallway, The lights cut. Everyone was running around, bumping into each other. Suddenly, a screen shone in the darkness.
“Students: for those who can’t make it with us today, we will also be live streaming it via VR.” There was a mad scramble to get to the VR room.
The roar shook the ground, and the rocket was blasting off the launchpad. Crowds of people were staring at it as it grew smaller and smaller in the thin Martian atmosphere. During the last fifteen years, scientists from all corners of the solar system were laboriously building, testing, and rebuilding the DYSON-1A satellite, which is supposed to be the first constellation around the sun to act as a small Dyson swarm. The energy would be beamed back as microwave radiation to Mercury, and batteries would be charged up and literally “thrown” through space by space-hooks to Earth and Mars. It flew and flew. A helpful popup at the bottom said that the altitude was about 1000 km up, with a speed of a few hundred miles an hour. Suddenly, we all saw a dust storm approaching. It swept through the crowd, making a huge commotion. Lightning struck the rocket, sending a HEAT_ALERT through the telemetry downlink. But it kept on flying and was caught by the skyhook successfully.
The rest of the day went by slowly, but it was fun. We later finished up Dolphin for the day, and started Advanced Algebra. Eventually, I went home.
I practiced a bit for my competition in the wind chamber we have in our basement, did my homework, had dinner with my family, and watched some TV. Then, I went off to bed, dreaming about winning the competition in a week.
Vulmor and Irneza Ardiss, Mars, 42
Vulmor and Irneza Ardiss’ (the father and mother of Elvin Ardiss’) point of view.
I woke up at 6 in the morning today. I was so excited that I could barely fall asleep! Today, our company, Whamazon, is starting a new service where people can receive their packages by putting a tracker in their home, so as soon as the product is finished, it can be shipped straight to their house with no delivery driver. Although I do not work in that field, it is a huge leap for our company.
I got my hoverboard out of the charger, and rode it to my colleague’s office, where we will be testing out the device. Although I could have just hopped on the off-rail elevator, which can take you to any room within the building, I decided to take my hoverboard, as it is more fun, and it reminded me of my childhood.
I was born on Earth, Washington, DC to be exact. Both of my parents worked at NASA, and when I was 16 years old our family, decided to volunteer for the first ever permanent Mars colony. I have returned to Earth a couple of times, but my main home is on Mars.
I was taking my hoverboard to my colleague, Hogmert’s office.
“Sir! Your coffee is ready! I cooled it down, so it will be warm, but not hot. Just how you like it!” scrambled Alok, busting in through the door.
“Thank you very much Alok! Perhaps you would like to be with us while we are testing out our new product?” I asked.
“Yes I would!” replied Alok, in his always cheery tone (once on April Fool’s someone set his voice to medieval english, and he went around screaming “Woulede thee lǒve somethende bihofþe drink?” and “Cometh a’d square with ich!”).
A few minutes went by. Finally, everyone came. We will be testing our delivery system.
“Three, two, one, order placed!,” I heard, “Start your stopwatch!” I started the timer on the watch. Ten. I start to sweat. Nine. I hold my breath. Eight. I can see everyone staring at me. Seven. I can’t get this off my mind. Six. My stomach churns. Five. I twist and turn. Four. My mind starts pacing. Three. Even Alok looks worried. Two. The moment of truth. One.
“Your package has arrived!” said a robotic voice. There was a box at my feet with a drone flying away.
“Yes!” The entire workplace erupted. This project would make the company billions.
When we were done celebrating, I went back to my daily routines. I was the head of product management. Today, I will be meeting with someone who will present to me his product which is a machine that can turn organic matter into real food. After my meetings with him, I said that I will sign a deal if he improves some features.
It is now my lunch break, and my wife and I decided to meet up in our favorite restaurant at the Restaurant VR simulator. The system cost thousands of dollars, but that is only a fraction of my wife’s and my paychecks. There is an additional setup which you have to get, but you put this thing in your mouth which generates three-dimensional objects which have the same taste and texture as your selected food. There are a total of twelve different restaurants and cuisines currently there – including Moonese, and Martian. Being overweight has unfortunately become a major factor in our society, so this food is made to be as realistic as possible, fill you up, and not exceed your recommended calories.
Irneza Ardiss – POV Transition:
I just dropped off my son at school, had lunch with my husband, and I am now on my way to work. I am a famous skydiver in the Intergalactic Olympics. I have been a skydiver for about eight years now and have won five medals. I found my passion for skydiving when I was about ten years old, when I went indoor skydiving on Earth. I loved the experience and decided to bring the sport of indoor skydiving to Mars, after my family and I moved here.
I have just recently been introduced as a “celebrity” to the public. However, I try not to let the fame get to my head and to try and remain the same person that I have always been.
The building that I work in looks like a huge gym and each room has a different Olympic Sport practice area. My fellow Olympians and I come to work every day to practice for the next Intergalactic Olympics, which occur every three years. The first thing I do after I have arrived is greet my co-workers, then go into the huge indoor skydiving room and practice until dinner. Indoor skydiving is a very difficult sport and requires a lot of precision and stability because you have to be able to control your body movements, while also focusing on doing flips and other tricks.
As I was walking home, I was stopped by a little girl with her mother. The mother asked if I could give her daughter an autograph. She said that I am her daughter’s favorite Olympian and that her daughter has looked up to me ever since my first Olympic competition.
At home, I ate dinner with my family and we talked about how our days were. We ate a delicious filet mignon dinner that was prepared by our cooking robot, Krooko. Later, we decided to watch, “Undiscovered Species,” an interesting science documentary about all of the undiscovered species that may exist on Mars. Elvin was very intrigued by the documentary and said that he might want to become a research scientist. As we continued to watch the movie, I started to feel myself getting more and more tired and eventually going to sleep. I dreamed about my son winning that indoor skydiving competition that was coming up soon…
Answers to prompts
Q. AGI has existed for at least five years but the world is not dystopian and humans are still alive! Given the risks of very high-powered AI systems, how has your world ensured that AGI has at least so far remained safe and controlled?
A. AI and special “checker-people” are both employed to do the “bit-checking”. They sift through all the communications daily to make sure no malicious content went through. CPU usage, communication baud rate, and encoding is also checked.
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. There are many top-tier AI systems. Since the first breakthrough in 2040, many companies were able to build on the original technologies and create great AI systems that are very diverse. For example, in our world, we use different AI systems for different everyday tasks, such as personal assistants and assisting students in school.
Q. How has your world avoided major arms races and wars, regarding AI/AGI or otherwise?
A. With AI now accepted as world leaders, they have a much quicker communication network, and can easily figure out ways to compromise with each other to make it a “win-win” situation.
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. Most countries trust AI with most of the decisions that need to be made. Internationally, there can be a AI leader Committee. In other countries such as China, many people are reluctant to give up places of power, as replacing human politicians with AI would regulate things and remove power monopolies, which many people depend on.
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. Countries that were relatively wealthy would have much easier access to AI. However, in less well-off countries, people will have a hard time acquiring AI systems, and as big corporations start to replace their employees with AI/robots, poorer people will be losing jobs, and the distribution of wealth will shift towards the already well-off people.
Q. What is a major problem that AI has solved in your world, and how did it do so?
A. AI has helped solve car accident deaths after having created self-driven cars. Each car has a sonar installed to sense surroundings and be able to transport people from place to place quickly while preventing accidents.
Q. What is a new social institution that has played an important role in the development of your world?
A. The AGI-owned business plays an important role in the development of our world. The business provides resources for the rest of the civilization.
Q. What is a new non-AI technology that has played an important role in the development of your world?
A. Nanotechnology is being used to cure diseases, such as Cystic Fibrosis, where the nanobots could travel inside the lungs to remove mucus, so people will have a longer lifespan.
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 develop “Time Wrap” life simulator institutions, to analyze multiple scenarios and probabilities, extreme cases and use AGI to run the multiple scenarios
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. Space and Planetary Tourism, without tourists needing to be trained. Specially designed robots/AI that can give a person a tour or suggest places to visit depending on a personality and health test that you take through the AI.
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. The life expectancy for the top 1% will increase, as they would be able to afford things such as nanobot surgery. However, the life expectancy of the bottom 20% will slightly decline as AI taking over jobs will lead to more poverty, which will likely lead to more violence in poorer communities, and other things.
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. Article 27 – the right to fully participate in cultural life – is taken now very seriously. Every child is introduced to music, arts and crafts early on, and gets free education on arts from kindergarten and up. Since AI can help with fine motor skills, even young children are encouraged to compose new music and share it with friends. Article 26 creates a lot of debate between many parental groups and educational AI, with some parents losing their parental rights to AI. In Russia, many people are losing their rights to personal security, with AI watching their online behavior and implicitly controlling it by feeding modified information. Still, their rights for rest and leisure are holding up and they are better of than in 2022, thanks to many jobs taken up by robotics.
Q. What’s been a notable trend in the way that people are finding fulfillment?
A. There is a VR set that most people have but, this is no ordinary set. It comes with a treadmill that can let you walk in all directions and you would still stay in one place. You can also purchase an add- on that gives you the ability to jump fly and any other cool things in the air. This happens by using a special bungee cord contraption to yourself. So, when you put on your VR and get on the tredmill it can feel like you are in the game/simulation you are seeing on your VR. Now you don’t have to go to a wide open space to use your VR. Also, purchase a bodysuit that lets you touch/feel objects.
Art Of Inquiry
All team members, except Julia (teacher) are 12-14 yrs old. All of them take the Art of Inquiry Existential Risks and Opportunities class with Julia. This is the second youth team led by Julia, that is submitting their input for the contest.