header photo

Project Vision 21

Transforming lives, renewing minds, cocreating the future

Blog Search

Blog Archive


There are currently no blog comments.

What are we really creating by recreating ourselves and the planet?

In his interesting book The Fourth Age, Byron Reese proposes that every time humanity accesses a new technology, humanity changes and, because of that, the planet also changes. For that reason, we can ask: What are we really transforming when our technology is transforming us and the planet?

Reese argues that 100,000 years ago, human beings learned to use fire and, thanks to fire, language developed. Then, about 10,000 years ago, the birth of agriculture led to the birth of cities. And more recently, perhaps only five or six millennia ago, the invention of writing resulted in the creation of nations.

Now, however, fire, language and agriculture look primitive when compared to intelligent and conscious robots, that is, the "fourth age" mentioned by Reese in his book. What we still don’t know is what will arise as a result of these new technologies.

For us (moving away from Reese’s book), it’s clear that the language we use is no longer entirely appropriate to describe our new reality, so we have to use expressions such as "expanded reality" or "virtual reality."

And, as is undoubtedly evident in today's world, the notions of "city", "nation" and "state" have been greatly challenged in terms of its viability for the future precisely because of the emergence of new technologies. So much so that for many people the only alternative seems to be to return to a past of supposed greatness.

Meanwhile, the United States and Russia recently announced separately the development of space battleships, while several private companies announced the imminent launch of space tourism trips.

And plans to terraform Mars in the coming decades continue to advance. What a paradox! We want to transform Mars to be like Earth while at the same time we are destroying Earth.

Simultaneously, intelligent robots develop their own language and their own ethics and, slowly but inexorably, take charge of all things. "Things" as in "Internet of Things", from autonomous cars to smart homes, and from judicial decisions (robot judges) to spiritual decisions (robot priests).

In that context, although we know approximately where we have been, we still don’t know where we are going to be, that is, are we entering a promising future in which many of the expectations and desires of the long history of humanity are they will see compliments? Or is this the last stage of human existence before being displaced and replaced by our own creation?

Then, the initial question must be rephrased, because it may no longer be enough to ask just what we are transforming thanks to our new technologies, but we must ask ourselves what technologies are becoming thanks to what those technologies themselves are discovering.

It took humanity about 100,000 years to reach artificial intelligence. We had to “invent” fire, then language, the agriculture, then writing, and then the wheel and so many other things before having 21st century technology. But AI doesn’t need that. So, how long will it take artificial intelligence to complete its own evolution?

Go Back