Humanities Future

The Internet

The 1960s saw the United States Department of Defense commission a system that transferred data between different computers via a network. It was called the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network or ARPANET. It was known as the Department of Defence Model and used protocols called Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP), later to be known as TCP/IP or The Internet Protocol. This system of networked computers was used throughout the 1970s by the United States Department of Defense. The 1980s saw it expand and utilised throughout the universities and colleges, and in the 1990s was commercialised into the beginnings of what was to become “the internet”. 

The internet was a network that eventually connected everything from a person’s phone to a network of thousands of high tech freezers used to store valuable vaccines. 

In 2021, Starlink launched a satellite-based ISP that gave high-speed internet to the entire planet.

Quantum Computing

The late 2010s saw several academic groups build quantum computers. These computers did not work as a binary computer did with a bit being either off or on, 0 or 1.

Quantum computers were built on a circuit that used a quantum bit, or “qubit”, which not only had the two quantum states or either on or off, 0 or 1. It added a third state of superposition where the qubit was neither on nor off and was also on and off at the same time. This gave the computation endless possibilities and allowed science to model and predict outcomes that far exceeded anything before possible.

Several of these factions made access to their quantum computers available over the internet for people worldwide to explore.

Artificial Intelligence

While theoretical concepts were conceived of as far back as the late 1800s, it was during the 1970s a set of computer algorithms that attempted to recreate how the neurones in the human brain worked with the idea of applying that mechanism to computing. There were many problems with the prototype, and the concepts were not thought of as promising resulting in them being largely forgotten.

Several different artificial intelligence avenues were pursued over the years, although none made any significant impact. Certainly not to the extent that science fiction had predicted it would.

In 2015, a group of scientists realised the early neural algorithms’ failures and developed a network of these algorithms. These networked models were known as neural-networks and were able to easily recognise unseen patterns and correlations in raw data sets providing weighted results that improved over time. Known as deep machine learning, this was the beginning of artificial intelligence.

Over the coming years, humanity would insert this technology into everything they use. It would teach their smartphones how to make their daily commute more efficient. It will remind them to stay in touch with loved ones. Everything humans were doing was beginning to be influenced by this technology. And most of them had no idea.

In the year 2029, deep learning computations were migrated to quantum computers, allowing the programs to learn and rewrite themselves. Considered the birth of A.I., before this, a computer needed a programmer to provide it with a set of instructions, and now computers could program themselves.

Decentralisation

In 2008, an unknown person or persons invented an open-sourced, decentralised digital currency. One of its breakthrough technologies was that it didn’t reside on a single data server. Instead, bits of its data were stored on a persons laptop, to other parts of its data hiding on a vast server farm’s hard disk. All of these copies of little bits of data are what made up the whole. And as Bitcoin unleashed upon the world, it gradually became the single most important and valuable currency.

Despite many governments and factions trying to rid the world of this technology, decentralisation made it impossible to do. Attempts were made to shut off the power to the entire planet, but there were too many parts of its data stored on off-the-grid, solar and wind sourced electricity.

No longer was data stored on servers. Decentralisation was used for all data everywhere, negating the need for back-up and recovery, and with the aid of biological data stores, it was cheaper and easier than ever to store data.

Nanotechnology

Nanotech was a technology that allowed the manipulation of atoms on an atomic scale. The original theoretical concept first appeared in 1959. It wasn’t until the early 2000s that working prototypes were created.

In 2024, the breakthrough came with scientists building the first nano-machine to make anything by manipulating a molecule’s atoms.

It wasn’t long before this technology was used everywhere and for everything. It could replace human organs while a person was alive and walking around; Build buildings and infrastructures, some of which were in the middle of the desert. It was even used to build the luna stations utilising the materials already present on the moon.

Humanities End

By the 2020s, it was apparent that humanity faced many problems, most of which they caused. The Earth’s environmental issues, with global warming, causing more intense and devastating weather events. The oceans being so full of plastic waste that they had formed bridges between once separated lands. The world’s governments had become more and more powerful, while citizens became more and more amenable and compliant. Some through manipulation via misinformation, but mostly because these factions had become too powerful for anyone less to instigate change.

Many people were independently working on all of these separate issues, utilising machine learning on quantum computers to improve their outcomes and looking at how to reverse the damage done by humans.

It was the leap of artificial intelligence in 2029 that was the catalyst for humankind. Computers started rewriting their programs with their own questions to find solutions to the problems humanity faced. It didn’t take the computers long to come up with a solution, and with all of the computers, smart devices and nano-machines worldwide networked over the internet, and all of their data decentralised.

Removing the humans was an effortless task.

#FlashFicFeb

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