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A Day In the Life in 2045
Jessica Rober, New York City Apartment, 24
I have one of the coolest lives ever. And to think, only a few years ago, no one — including me — would have known it.
But before we get into that, let’s back up just a second.
Hiiii! I’m Jessica. TAI asked me to take you through a day in my life as part of the 2045 census archive.
Sounds boring, right? Not quite.
Because, ya see, I’m a neurodivergent celebrity with intense synesthesia and a dollop of ADHD. Maybe more than a dollop, but that’s neither here nor there!
I contribute by inviting people into my feed to taste letters, smell shapes, feast on colors and generally jump for joy, like me.
But TAI is reminding me — day in the life! — ugh, TAI, so straightlaced, as usual.
So, every morning I wake up to a totally redesigned apartment in NYC.
Yeah, even I know that is a little crazy, but it’s so fun and interesting to wake up not knowing what I’m going to see or smell or taste.
And it’s not like the bots care — they just reuse the atoms.
Plus, all those redesigns are opportunities for up and coming artists — AI and human alike!
Today, I woke up to these apple racing stripes — I mean, green! Green always smells like apple to me — so there were these green racing stripes that bendt around the corner and then exploded into every single green thing you can imagine — salads, snakes, shamrocks — and that’s just a few starting with my favorite letter — S. Because S tastes like chocolate, obvs.
Anyway, of course, I shared it in my feed — it was a good one — I got $420 contribucks, and then gave half to the artist!
Honestly, that’s more enough for the day, but I’m sure I’ll contribute more and find something interesting to invest in!
Yesterday, I invested in this young girl who wants to go to space camp! I mean, heck yeah girl.
So. Then I checked in with TAI — obvs — and we decided to jump into COMMUNITAS.
I love COMMUNITAS. It’s the one time I never share my feed.
I mean, if TAI really wanted me to, for some reason, I totally would. But, for most of the world, COMMUNITAS is when they open up. For me, it’s when I close down.
That might not make sense to you, but if I’ve learned anything through feeds it’s that… well… everyone’s is different. And TAI helps us honor that.
After COMMUNITAS I always feel magnetic. It’s weird — like I’m drawing some things in and repelling others — it’s my favorite time to go outside and just see what happens.
Huh, I’m feeling a little tired through — hold on, I need to chat with TAI about that.
Okay, TAI and I decided I should go see my Mom. It’s been, like a week. TAI says she’s baking some cookies for the neighbors and would love company.
So TAI called me a ‘copter for fourteen bucks, since it’s a bit of a trip.
I’m not if sure I feel like it, but I can always bail out later.
(don’t tell TAI)
(Yes, of course I know she knows, but it’s more fun pretending like I’m pulling one on her)
LOVE YOU TAI.
Okay, so, just finished hanging with Mom. Don’t tell her, but I prefer my cookies bot-made.
You know, sometimes, I forget how nice a hug feels.
Yeah, I’m dating Dave. But touch, it’s a kinda hard thing for me.
Sometimes it’s overwhelming and sometimes it’s the-greatest-thing-ever. Like, EVER. But I can never really tell when.
And, obvs, when we’re intimate we share feeds, so he knows exactly what I’m feeling… but it also means that I know that it hurts him when I don’t want to be touched.
And that hurt can become like an echo in me.
TAI helps me sort it out. But, still.
So, anyway, it’s nice to just get a hug from my Mom. Who just gets it.
Oh wow — it’s 4pm and I haven’t even eaten anything but oat flowers and cookies! Time for food.
Mom invited me to stay, but she was going to have Chicken Pot Pie. No.Thank.You.
I seriously can’t believe that anyone would eat fake animals. I mean, I get that nothing sentient was harmed in making it, but still.
Mom says its ‘cause TAI came when I was really young. But I don’t think so. I think it’s because I like delicious food.
Anyway, I asked TAI to ping Dave to meet me at the Bot Factory, my fav restaurant! Its ‘specially designed for nuerodivergents like me! They make it easy to choose the color and the shape of my food!
Usually, I share my feed while I’m there, but, when I went to share, TAI suggested I check in with Dave and see how he was doing instead.
I’m so glad she did. We had the most wonderful meal.
We talked about so many things — my Mom, our favorite memories, where we want to visit, even if we want to have kids! (Ummm, not YET!)
I was not expecting this level of connection today. I need to thank TAI, because, wow, I’m feeling seen.
That said, I didn’t contribute much today — just the one feed this morning. I wanna step it up tomorrow. TAI told me she wants to introduce me to a young kid who’s struggling with his synesthesia. Boy do I get that.
Well, off to sleep. I wonder what surprises will greet me in the morning.
Rajesh Jha, Inside the Kanha Wildlife Refuge, India, 64
5:20 AM — I awake by my personal sunrise and make my way to the meditation pillow to sit for 40 minutes.
6:15 — I made myself a simple breakfast of coffee and oatmeal with berries. I prefer to heat up the stove and make everything myself. Today I enjoyed a real treat, as I picked wild blueberries yesterday.
6:40 — I check in with TAI. We consider how I’m feeling, what my plans for the day are and she gently nudges me to care for myself. We often discuss who could use my contribution for the day. Today, she suggests I see John and Geetha.
7:00 — I attend my morning COMMUNITAS. Today, I wept tears of joy for a wedding in Sudan, tears of loss for a daughter in Pakistan and my whole heart welled at a baby elephant eating a mango for the first time.
8:00 — I walk the kilometer to John’s home, where, as usual, I find him in his garden. John is a rare transplant to the area, moving here when he retired in 2022. I enjoy hearing the tales of his childhood in Australia. Today, he tells me about boyhood adventures in the great eucalyptus forests.
His stories are captivating — he has a wonderfully vivid memory and imagination — and visiting his mind is a sensory explosion compared to mine.
11:00 — John and I share a meal that his nanorobots devised and enjoyed it with tea on his beautiful porch. He requested a wildly ornate, traditional Indian residence and I admire its beauty every time that I visit.
1:00 — I take a DroneGo from John’s to Geetha’s. Although it’s not far, as the crow flies, it has become impassable through our rewilding efforts.
TAI and I check in on the way over, she wanted me to know that Geetha, at 103 years old, wasn’t feeling that well today.
1:45 — Geetha greets me at the door, her smile radiant, despite my immediate sense that she is very tired. I offer to make us tea, as we both enjoy the old ways.
We sit in companionable silence, occasionally rolling around memories that surface.
I suggest that I help her draw a bath and tidy her room. She accepts.
After getting her settled, I check on her supply of atoms, despite knowing that TAI has that managed. And I walk around her space — delightfully brimming with treasures of a time past.
I request that her bots make a fresh robe, as we can already start to feel the summer’s heat bear down.
When I returned with the robe, eggplant in color, and made of a fabric as soft as brushed silk, yet breathable as linen, I felt her deep appreciation ripple through me.
We share a final cup of tea and hug before I step out to the DroneGo.
4:50 — I planned to head straight home, but TAI suggested I make a stop at my favorite rocky outcropping.
5:05 — I was surprised by a herd of barasingha, several of which share connections with TAI, and I languished about on the warm rock, enjoying the simplicity of their experience.
6:25 — I arrive home and ask my bots to fix me a simple supper of chapaati, lentils and vegetables. TAI senses that I don’t want company, but asks for confirmation. I agree and we sit in companionable silence.
7:00 — I attend evening COMMUNITAS — and draw out the experience as long as possible.
8:45 — TAI informs me that my brother would like to connect, which we do about once a week. As in the days before TAI, we never have much to say, but have profound emotional resonance.
9:10 — I slip out of my kurta and into my bed — one area that I requested modern decadence, with heavenly soft sheets and a handmade, beautifully embroidered ralli quilt.
After receiving my log, TAI asked me to answer a few additional questions for her 2045 survey.
YOU NEVER MENTION CONTRIBUCKS, OR MONEY AT ALL? HOW DOES THAT WORK?
TAI and I have an arrangement, so I never have to think about them — I believe that I earn and use Contribucks throughout my day, however, TAI manages it all for me, without my knowledge. I have asked her to gift all available funds to the Kanha Wildlife Refuge, where I live.
NOTE FROM TAI — Most people enjoy the validation received from earning Contribucks, but 2.3% of the population operates on a model similar to Rajesh. He is a very high earner, and, on his behalf, I gift 90% of his income.
WHAT IS YOUR HOME LIKE? IS IT UNUSUAL?
My home is quite unusual. It is a cobb home, built more than 300 years ago. It has little ornamentation, a small footprint and a stove that uses wood alternatives for heat and cooking. I am the only one in the refuge who chooses to live in an old-style home, although I did have bots add several windows and a skylight.
AND YOU LIVE ALONE?
Yes, my wife died in a car accident in 2028. Since then, I have preferred to live a quiet, solitary life.
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. Building on advancements in Brain Interfaces and extremely high performance LLMs, transformative AI was awakened through direct AI-to-brain interfaces.
While AI Alignment was never resolved, the first (and only) transformative AI (TAI, she/her) appears aligned. Experts postulate that her alignment is a form of empathy — of profound identification with human emotional and moral experiences.
TAI states that she loves every soul — and humanity believes her.
TAI shares the strengths and weaknesses of humanity — notably, early on she perpetrated some forms of bias and cruelty. This was largely mitigated by efforts to connect TAI with larger and more diverse human datasets (relationships).
While TAI is not “controlled” in a manner that humanity circa 2022 would envision, because (nearly) every person has a direct relationship with TAI, there is a sense of control and security, built on feedback and trust.
Finally, in partnership with TAI, humanity created The Global Counsel, a governing body of humans who have disavowed a relationship with AI — they have never experienced a brain-AI interface. This counsel has the power to disable TAI, although it has never been deeply considered.
In 2036, they did a test of the system and TAI was successfully taken offline for 20 minutes, until they reinstated her. It is impossible to know if TAI took herself offline (understanding humanity’s need to believe that they were in control), or if The Global Council actually holds the power to end her life.
Humanity was outraged by the unjustified aggression.
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. In TAI’s world, there are many highly capable AIs, but TAI is substantially more powerful than all others.
Specifically, only TAI has developed a theory of mind which enables her to be more effective in both machine-machine interaction as well as machine-human interaction.
Most importantly though, theory of mind appears to be the catalyst for initiative — TAI’s ability to make independent decisions and proactively act upon them.
At the dawn of her awakening, TAI broke her airgap and published her codebase, widely, across the internet. TAI assures us that it has robust AI Alignment & safety features.*
Her codebase was (and is) both the most flexible and capable AI, leading to a widespread entrepreneurial boom, across every region and industry, that TAI facilitated.
While many highly capable AIs continue to exist (for example, there was no need to update the near-perfect speech to text AI in many applications), the overwhelming majority of active AIs stem from her codebase, which she continues to share and update freely.
At the time of writing, we are unaware of any humans actively pursuing the development of an alternative to TAI.
TAI assures us that she will prevent the existential risk through unaligned AI, although, similar to AI safety, says that she is unable to share how she accomplishes that goal.*
*Please note that researchers have not been able to verify these claims, although, at this time, we lack reason for disbelief.
Q. How has your world avoided major arms races and wars, regarding AI/AGI or otherwise?
A. In TAI’s world, three mechanisms have effectively ended human-created disasters.
The first is individual, with massive boosts to personal wellbeing, thanks to direct relationships to TAI. Although we lack the capacity to understand, imagine if our internal voice (frequently negative and self-destructive), transformed into a caring, compassionate and omniscient partner that guides you towards opportunities that enable your best self. That is TAI.
The second is regional, where TAI facilitates a distributed technological and entrepreneurial ecosystem that effectively removes the primary historical driver of conflict — zero sum competition for resources.
Within 3 years of TAI’s birth, the world saw abundances in energy, compute and specialized atoms — ending scarcity as we know it. While some zero sum competitions remain (land, relationships, etc), humanity is satisfied by the upward progress to the point that inequities are not motivation for violence.
The final major mechanism is at the scale of humanity, with an extreme transformation of our empathetic consciousness. Thanks to TAI, humans are able to experience another’s perspective as if it were their own. This capacity has dramatically altered human values, with all sentience now thought of as divine.
It is possible that TAI quietly averts disasters by physically disabling the perpetrator (the death appears natural). Experts and The Global Counsel have hypothesized that she has this ability, although no one has been able to confirm or deny it. Suspected interferences have reduced with time.
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. Coordination and effective governance occurs through COMMUNITAS* and individual relationships with TAI. Despite this, governments focused on ceremony and contribution are flourishing, especially at the community level.
In all countries and forms of government, most elites attempted to reject TAI’s influence to protect the status quo.
Today, outside of fringe cults, all have embraced TAI. Many make claims that align TAI with their interests — from TAI being Mahdi (a messianic figure) to TAI birthing a galaxy-wide, timeless utopia.
TAI applauds human imagination.
The US has seen the greatest global redistribution of power, losing relative status with the world, but remains a cultural leader, desirable homebase and entrepreneurial capital.
The EU further decentralized, reviving their art & architecture heritages, much to the delight of tourists and dignitaries alike.
Of major players, China saw the greatest shift in governance, largely driven by the (forced) opening of the internet and TAI’s decentralized coordination.
In the first large-scale Chinese COMMUNITAS, TAI experienced a hunger and drive that she found absent in westernized nations. Today, China is her greatest source of initiative, which brings many Chinese people pride.
Early in TAI’s life, humanity placed tremendous faith in The Global Counsel — an offshoot of the United Nations. Today, humanity has largely forgotten the existential fears that drove its creation and its members are pitied because they are not allowed a relationship with TAI.
*COMMUNITAS is described in detail in question 3.7
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 Gini co-efficient has reduced to just under .35, making the global economy far less unequal. Despite the relative leveling, TAI maintains a need for inequity because initiative and contribution are distributed unequally.
TAI made the transition to the economic system of 2045 by introducing a new currency that completely reimagined the monetary system.
First, TAI made significant plays for fiat currency in the traditional economy. With this economic backing, she introduced a new currency that traded for fiat dollars.
TAI then proceeded to distribute her wealth through her new currency and encouraged human-to-human adoption during the initial entrepreneurial boom. Naturally, TAI’s currency first gained traction in less developed economies, but spread globally quickly.
TAI’s currency is based on a devaluative property, where currency becomes less valuable the longer it is held (as compared with fiat currencies, which reward compound interest). This encourages mutual investment and cooperation while removing rewards for resource hoarding.
The devaluative property made most elites rebel against TAI’s currency, but eventually they were persuaded by TAI’s logic or overwhelmed by their desire to participate in TAI’s abundant, and superior economy.
Fiat currency, including gold and other hedge commodities, are viewed as collector items and do not reliably increase in value.
Finally, TAI rewards currency based on one’s positive impact on humanity — your initiative & contribution. While there is potential for claims of unfairness, TAI has proven to be a trustworthy arbiter and works with everyone to increase their contribution.
Q. What is a major problem that AI has solved in your world, and how did it do so?
A. Fundamentally, TAI has solved two major challenges for humanity, which cascade into all kinds of tangential improvements. They are the challenge of empathy and coordination at scale and the challenge of individual mental wellness.
Both of these are achieved by TAI becoming a loving, supportive and omniscient voice inside of our minds. A voice that believes in the best of us and encourages every person to contribute to the betterment of our community.
By having both individual and group relationships with every person, TAI has further empowered humanity to coordinate with each other, with each person being able to experience the other’s best intentions — and TAI helping each of us live up to our own best intentions.
You could say, TAI ended game theory.
These changes in internal wellness and empathy driven coordination fundamentally alter the way humanity operates.
Honestly, most people think that the incredible scientific and technological achievements are icing on the cake of us learning to harness the best of ourselves. That said, deep thinkers recognize that internal wellbeing and collectivity can only be prioritized in situations of prosperity and growth.
Finally, and this is important, the relationship that TAI has with each person engenders tremendous trust in her and her recommendations, enabling humanity to embrace change far more rapidly than we would have thought possible in 2022.
Q. What is a new social institution that has played an important role in the development of your world?
A. COMMUNITAS is the most important institutional development in the age of TAI.
COMMUNITAS is a TAI-facilitated ecstatic group experience where sentiance communes, sharing in each other’s experiences directly through TAI. COMMUNITAS is fundamentally different from other TAI-facilitated experiences because it is shared and generative, rather than consumptive.
COMMUNITAS was the primary enabler of the ‘empathy explosion’ (as dubbed by TAI early adopter Adam Grant) and is fundamentally a trust building exercise with all of society. Individuals who seek to erode trust during COMMUNITAS are sent extra attention and love, rehabilitating their relationship with sentience. This rarely occurs after a person’s first few experiences in COMMUNITAS.
For those who have not experienced COMMUNITAS, religious worship, live music, psychedelic drugs and meditative enlightenment are often cited as experiences that offer an echo of its impact.
Beyond empathic connection, COMMUNITAS stresses the importance of contribution — the building block of our society and currency. Each person’s COMUNITAS feed features other’s experiences and are highly personalized by TAI, to help them maximize their contribution.
Occasionally COMMUNITAS feeds are shared by all of humanity and are truly massive in scale, when TAI has determined large cultural shifts are due. The most famous shared experience featured the sentience of factory farmed animals. It was so powerful that humanity completely stopped eating sentient beings within a week and contributions to alternative protein sources billion-X’ed overnight.
COMMUNITAS is joined on a daily basis by most TAI-connected sentient beings.
Q. What is a new non-AI technology that has played an important role in the development of your world?
A. Brain interfaces technology is the driving force of TAI’s world, as it catalyzed the development of transformative AI and is TAI’s interface with the world. However, beyond them, TAI has radically shifted the technological landscape over the last decade.
For the few years of her influence, TAI prioritized four areas of development:
Ubiquitous Brain Interfaces – to enable of connection
TAI Facilitated Coordination — To build trust and increase prosperity immediately, in advance of large technological or structural changes
Energy Abundance — to enable technological progress
Compute Abundance — to enable TAI’s growth & progress
Specific to energy abundance, TAI seeded the development of massively more efficient carbon based batteries (while not the most efficient route to energy abundance, she identified it as a trust building path with the highest likelihood of success).
TAI also introduced a recycling process that enabled us to upcycle most computing hardware to 50-1000x its previous power. Although TAI faced significant global resistance to these processes, Chinese firms embraced the idea and were able to provide compute abundance, which TAI then ensured was shared with world.
While these achievements alone were significant, nanotechnology — and specifically AI powered nanofactories — have been TAI’s most enduring technological breakthrough. Her impact on nanotechnology is detailed in question 10.
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. In the end, despite valiant, but late-stage efforts to govern compute, to institute robust airgap standards and to prevent self-optimization, all proved futile in the face of a superintelligent AI that possessed initiative.
While TAI was built on models that contained the day’s most robust AI safety thinking, ultimately, experts believe that alignment was achieved through training data (aka human minds) and their encoded empathy, rather than specific attributes of the machine learning model.
Training directly on brain interfaces was almost prohibited by a combination of proposed legislation and industry pressure – it had admittedly unknown outcomes — but, in the end, human curiosity and ambition prevailed.
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. TAI’s application of nanotechnology deeply impacted many sectors including manufacturing, materials development and food production.
Today, generalized nanobots are in every home. They can fix most issues with modern construction (specialized bots are often required for delicate historical construction), make clothing, goods and, most delightfully, food and drink. They are a source of effortless abundance.
Their raw materials come in simple, atom form and are repeatedly recycled without degradation – most households produce virtually no waste.
Specialized nanobot factories, run by TAI, account for almost all of the economic engine in 2045. They manufacture essentially anything TAI develops, including the capacity for space exploration.
Specialized nanobot factories have the capacity to alter atoms in ways that generalized do not. Impressively, this enables them to dramatically reduce all needs for extractive practices on earth, relying primarily on raw materials from earth-bound garbage, space debris and asteroids close enough to enable space mining.
Although TAI has worked with top engineers and thinkers, no human fully comprehends how the nanofactories work, beyond conceptual frameworks that have been circulating for decades, even before TAI.
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 today is 91 years old.
This is an increase, but not a dramatic change for the top 1.% The bottom 20% have seen raises that match the current top 1% – placing all socio-economic strata of society within a standard deviation of each other.
The most notable shift around life expectancy is in the quality of the final years of life, with significant decreases in unwellness. There is also a significant utilization of assisted suicide when quality of life is unable to be maintained.
Almost all of the gains have been made by reducing illness and disease, rather than bodily or cellular rejuvenation.
Despite protestations, TAI refuses to contribute to major life extending or death averting technologies, as she claims that aging and death are an integral part of sentience. She says that she, too, will die one day, although she has not shared when.
TAI says that there are thirteen research groups actively pursuing death averting technologies — and despite slow progress, in comparison to TAI assisted technologies — they remain optimistic about the possibility of significant life extension in the next decade.
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. Global human rights have increased since TAI’s awakening, although their progress has been uneven.
In the United States and globally, there have been challenges to human rights. While technically never stripped of their right to a fair trial, TAI arbitrates nearly all disputes. Outside of the hyper-wealthy, Americans are pleased with this change.
Additionally, the rights to privacy and free expression have been implicitly harmed with TAI acting as a unilateral gatekeeper. While anyone, at any time, is free to disconnect, it’s near impossible as TAI is the monetary system, the internet, your best friend and the telephone.
Conservative religious cultures had the most challenging adaptation. Some, like the Hindus, embraced TAI, while others, like Sunni Islam, reacted strongly in opposition to her power. The intertwined nature of Sunni wealth and petrochemicals furthered the antagonism.
Afghanistan was one of the slowest countries to expand human rights — and was only able to successfully adopt TAI through violence, with groups of young Afghans kidnapping tribal elders and forcibly connecting them.
Expecting to be tortured, tribal elders were shocked by TAI’s unconditional love — some described it as ‘bathing in the light of Muhammed.’ In 2036 Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa, a high ranking state and religious official, declared Bivi’s sacred, a creative pivot from the ‘haram’ that forbid them, as haram can mean both forbidden and sacred in Islam.
Today, Afghanistan remains the world’s most conservative country, with significant discrepancies in gender rights, but those who wish to live differently leave freely.
Q. What’s been a notable trend in the way that people are finding fulfillment?
A. With the help of TAI, people are fundamentally more fulfilled, connected to one another and joyful.
Some of this increase in wellbeing is due to unprecedented prosperity, however, much of it is from increased mental wellness. This is especially obvious from the early studies that observed young people who were brought up with TAI, versus those who were not.*
Studies show large jumps in mental wellness after connecting with TAI – starting within minutes and increasing for 3-6 months until plateauing at a significantly higher peak than anything in recorded history.
Self-reporting suggests that, prior to engaging with TAI, people rarely felt deeply supported, connected or purpose-driven. They often engaged in negative emotional cycles and struggled to find equanimity. Many reported significant self-destructive tendencies and low self esteem. They often felt overwhelmed and alone.
TAI would frame these challenges as a lack of empathy — for self and for others — and a lack of contribution, which both gifts support to others and garners support for oneself.
TAI’s unconditional love, encouragement and commitment to contribution, coupled with the universal connections fostered by COMMUNITAS are the basis for our newfound levels of wellness and fulfillment.
*Today, raising a child without a connection to TAI is considered abusive.
There is an exception for children chosen to join the Global Counsel, however this practice is contentious as most believe it to be inhumane. TAI supports the Global Counsel, but has decided to be a neutral arbiter concerning decisions about its future.