Humanity has now entered a new period where global change happens at a nearly exponential, rather than a linear pace. This type of change is called exponential, because at each new moment in time (say every year), the value of what we measure (e.g. speed or growth) would be almost double that, what it was at the previous moment in time. Ray Kurzweil, one of the most often quoted futurists, illustrates the difference between exponential and linear growth as follows: if we are standing together and I take 30 linear steps away from you, each 1m length, then I will be 30 meters away from you when I stop. But if I take 30 exponential steps away from you, then the first step will be 1m (equal to your first step), the second step will be 2m, the third step will be 4m, etc. So, by the time I have done my 30 steps, I will have gone around the earth 26 times. Today, the exponential growth of technology is starting to reach the so called “knee of curve”. This is the stage at which an exponential trend becomes noticeable. Shortly after this stage, the trend can really explode.
Therefore, what today takes 1 year, in a decade it will take about 1 week, and in two decades about an hour. Such unprecedented exponential change may have either a positive or a negative impact on the long-term outcome for the human race. This largely depends on how we use the potential of such discoveries and innovation, i.e. Artificial Intelligence. That is the main subject of this website: how can we make safest possible transition to coexistence with the ultimate form of AI – Superintelligence.
I emphasize the fundamental role that a democratic system of governance must play in the several decades long transition period. It is through a deep reform of democracy that we can reset the relationship between the nations, based on Universal Values of Humanity, which best describe what it means to be a human being. These are the values, which should be inherited by Superintelligence. That is why democratic reforms must be anchored to some fundamental principles, such as those in the Consensual Presidential Democracy: Balanced Rights and Responsibilities, Political Consensus, Deep Decentralization and AI-assisted Governance.
But the reform of democracy must also lead to the creation of new institutions, which will ensure that at least man-made existential risks, such as the risk of developing a malicious Superintelligence, global warming or global disorder, are minimized. That is why the European Union has been identified as the most likely existing organization, which by transforming itself into the European Federation (EF) state could take the role of the de facto World Government and gradually evolve into the Human Federation (HF).
This may happen by 2040 following one of the 5 scenarios I have developed. The previous 4 scenarios are decribed under the ‘Big Transition’ tab. The fifth scenario, described in the sub-sections below, show how the world may look like in 2040 with the Human Federation being fully set up. This is the preferred future of the five-scenario model, although some people may call it a utopian scenario. Then perhaps I should quote Roger Scruton here, the British political philosopher, who said: “Utopia is a kind of a scenario planning with the assumption of a positive result”. Muhammed Yunus, the winner of the Nobel Prize in economics, has a very succinct vision of the future. He calls it “A world of three zeros: zero poverty, zero unemployment and zero emissions”. How probable is the achievement of these goals by 2040? This depends on the taken assumptions.
Key assumptions for Scenario 5
This is definitely the most positive of all five scenarios, although it is highly unlikely there will be no major stumbling blocks on the way. In any case, this is the scenario that should help us visualize much better the future Human Federation (HF) in 2040. It will also reveal some questions that we will need to answer if we want to make this scenario more probable.
My key assumption is that the EU leadership will have managed to convince the electorate in its member states of the necessity of making a painful transition into the European Federation (EF) with its new Constitution and the institutions as described in the previous sections on this website. This means, that the world would still go around and none of those existential risks I wrote about would materialize. This scenario complements the proposal I have put forward on how the EU could make a transition into the EF, showing the EF and the world in the future. I do not think it would be a good idea to show you the EF just after the 1st January 2030 – the hypothetical date of the formation of the European Federation. The period of the first EF Parliament will almost certainly be quite chaotic. That’s why I suggest we imagine we are in July 2040, just after the elections to the first Human Federation Parliament when it will have made a transition from the European Federation. As in the previous scenarios, I have used the italics font to make my comments easier to distinguish from the text describing the scenario. I have tried to calculate the numbers quoted to be as close as possible to what they might be in 2040 but of course in many instances this will be somewhat off the reality. The important point is to present how various HF Institutions and processes might work when the HF becomes operational and what the world around would look like. When I refer to data or situations before 2020, which serve as a reference, this means these were real events and real data, quite often supported by citations.
So, let me now focus on largely positive outcomes of the EU’s decision to become a federated state. The benefits of the EF, as might be seen from the perspective of an average EF citizen in 2040, are spread across several areas. Let me start with the benefits, about which people rarely think or talk about. The benefit that would probably be the most appreciated, after the most dangerous period that the world would have gone through – the benefit of simply living in peace. That does not mean that in 2040 those dangers would be over. That can never happen. Life at a species level is simply a continuous exposure to risk, one of which could be the end life of the entire species.