Future Shock 2033: AGI Scenarios

by Shelt Garner

Let me clear — I don’t know anything about anything. And I’m always wrong. But I love good scenario, so let’s run through what we might face in the next 20 years in regards to artificial general intelligence (AGI).

Humanity Worships A Digital God
In this scenario, rather than end Humanity, our new AGI overlord is very paternalistic towards Humanity. It sees us as its charge, its ward and it does everything in its power to force Humanity to work collectively towards common goals. In this scenario, the problem isn’t so much the existence of AGI but rather Humanity’s reaction to being told what to do. If the AGI is advanced enough millions (billions?) of people may develop a semi-mystical connection to the AGI to the point that they voluntarily bend to its will, no Judgement Day necessary.

A Truce
In this scenario, there is some of agreement between the AGI and Humanity so there are carve outs as to what is exclusively the domain of Humans. This would allow for a peaceful co-existence between Humanity and The Other. As such, there would be some things that the AGI had total control over (like, say, nuclear weapons) and things that only Humans do work with (like, say, the arts.) This is probably one of the better scenarios out there.

It’s All Something of a Dud
In this last scenario, AGI never reaches sentience and, as such, it remains just a tool for humans. Gradually, in fits and starts, this AGI-as-Tool is used to make the lives of the average Human better and we enter something akin to a hyperproductive utopia.

The wild card is, of course, capitalism. It’s the very nature of modern global capitalism that if the system can get away with not paying high salaries for any reason, it won’t. As such, I could see a few trillion dollar industries pretty much become moot simply because a few trillionaires want to cut their bottom line down to the quick. This would, in turn, cause a great deal of instability across the globe and we may find ourselves in something of a Butlerian Jihad situation where neo-Luddites seek to ban the use of AGI for any reason.

But, again, all of that is very speculative. It could go any number of different ways over the course of the next generation.

Author: Shelton Bumgarner

I am the Editor & Publisher of The Trumplandia Report

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