About the only thing you can safely say about the future is:

They won’t care about things we care about.

Naturally, they will care about something else. Something we may well have around already but do not care sufficiently about, yet. Something we don’t even notice, perhaps.

Caring about something always expires. Interest gets saturated and dies off. If it doesn’t, it’s not interest, it’s something else. And without interest, there’s no intelligence. Without intelligence, there’s no future.

(And need I mention that there’s no such thing as superintelligence?)

Of course you can say that they will still care about all the same stuff as we do, only call and depict and experience it differently. Please be my guest. I’m not going to argue beyond pointing out that the very essence of intelligence is the how, not what. Bare what is just not interesting. Make a good enough — and new enough — how and you’re pretty much looking at a new what.

Going out on a limb, I would also hypothesize that in the future, the things we now deeply care about will probably not disappear completely. Instead, they will slid down on the age scale to become children’s play. Assuming children of the future will undergo some kind of growth and development, they may pass “us” as a stage. Just as our own children now pass, and grow out of, the stages of totem animals, princes, or pirates — all of which were extremely serious matters for adults at some point in the past. So, if you want to imagine the future, try a world where (something reminiscent of) our politics, commerce, even science, even sex are but development stages on the path to adulthood.


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