I just noticed that my framework of the Universal Upgrade could be the basis for the Fractal Future world. It has a generally utilitarian transhumanist line of reasoning behind it and is similar to a “soft take-off” “Singularity” scenario.
Anyway, there are some ideas that go beyond the post that I’ve written quite a while ago, regarding phases of the Universal Upgrade. Those phases could last about 15-20 years each, for example:
The Network Phase (2015-2030):
- Network technology takes off. Decentralization is on the rise
- Humans start the first serious efforts to use brain-to-machine and machine-to-brain and brain-to-brain interfaces, though the technology isn’t sophisticated enough yet to be especially useful
- It’s the age of narrow AI agents and assistants, but no real artificial general intelligence, yet.
- New modes of network enabled economy (cryptocurrencies, reputation economy, attention economy) become relevant on the fringe.
The Modification Phase (2030-2045):
- Gene sequencing costs are very cheap. Everyone can afford a device that can do that at home (although these private sequences are not legal in a lot of places). People start doing DIY genetic experiments on themselves.
- We really start understanding the human brain and how to augment it with neural implants. Technological telepathy and empathy becomes possible, but are still very rough.
- The first AGIs appear, but are still below human level in many respects. In some respects they have definite advantages over humans. Tensions between humans and AGIs arise.
- The first human minds are uploaded, but their performance is not on par with the human brain. The uploads run slower. But they have the advantage to be able to improve themselves more easily. But that’s mostly outlawed, because of fears of the public.
- The economy is radically transformed by the use of network economies, 3d printers, AI, and AGIs. Also universal basic incomes become widespread.
The Wild Phase (2045-2060):
- AGI are now at the human level and are about to surpass them quite significantly.
- Atomically precise manufacturing becomes widespread and creates full abundance in conjunction with the now fully transformed economy.
- Space starts getting seriously colonized. Mainly by uploads and AGIs using robot bodies.
- Early versions of group minds and hive minds appear.
- P (philosophical/principled) factions become really influential and start existing as virtual nations.
- Some humans start fusing with AI/AGI components to become hybrid intelligences: The first “upgraded minds”
The Sophisticated Phase (2060-2075):
- Very advanced and complex upgraded minds appear and basically take over control of most affairs
- Telepathic communication has become the norm and is far more efficient at transmitting information than any kind of conventional language. Memories, perception, concepts, skills, qualia can be transferred almost perfectly and instantaneously
- The economy is transformed into a fully upgraded economy that truly optimizes need and desire fulfilment efficiently, because everyone is deeply networked into a global system that can optimize all economic activity with extreme performance. This sounds like central control, but is wholly voluntary and based on a mix of centralized and decentralized operations.
- Many p factions secure “territory” in the outer reaches of the solar system. There’s a great boom in the construction of space habitats.
- The ecosystem of Earth is massively being redesigned: Suffering is minimized, super-wellbeing is introduced, the lives of animals are gamified.
- There’s a dense network of replicators and dispensers that can create practically any good like in Star Trek.
The Upgraded World (2075-2090):
- Technology becomes extremely advanced. We can manipulate matter on the femto scale and create new kinds of matter
- The stellar civilization starts tapping the energy of the sun on a truly stellar scale. A Dyson cloud is being constructed around the sun
- The furthest reaches of the solar system are colonized
Technological Maturity (2090 and later):
It becomes really difficult advancing technology any further, because it’s so insanely complicated and advanced already.
We can do perfectly realistic simulations of the past and other universes.
We start colonizing other star systems, because all the “real estate” in our star system is already taken.