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Harmony Nexus

In 2045 everyone's voice contributes to an emergent global choir!
The drawn peace-, or V-hand-sign encourages people to make use of their voice. through V.O.I.C.E.
Sofiá calibrating a new General Robot care-unit to their new environment.
This future value-compass indicates the thousands of preferences of a single human.

Overview

In 2045, the world is far from perfect, but humanity is flourishing thanks to brilliant technological advances and new global cooperation. After conquering, one after the other, most challenges of the 21st century, our civilization is on the eve of attaining AGI and unimaginable expansion, and the sky seems merely the starting line. 

After some high-profile accidents in the 2020s, most people’s views on AI turned sour, and the world’s great powers got together to agree on a number of international regulations. Although perhaps slowing down progress more than necessary, these initiatives led to the acceleration of safety measures and societal adaptation. As a side effect, and given the growing importance of AI for civilization, these also resulted in a series of multipolar checks and balances. 

All things considered, AI still progressed at a breakneck pace. Not only did this bring untold prosperity to the whole world, it also accelerated advances in many other fields – such as fusion energy and materials science. This led to a reversal of environmental damage and a dramatic reversal of global emissions trends - among many other effects. 

Moreover, this progress allowed many schemes for fair distribution of wealth to be designed and implemented. Thus, in 2045 people have higher standards of living, spend more time on themselves and with their families, and value agency over artificial intelligence-managed systems. Local to transnational institutions allow for large-scale cooperation, and AI is used for enhanced democratic processes where everyone’s voice is truly heard. As a result, society is far more harmonious in general, notwithstanding some political divides and remaining bad actors. All in all, the overall feeling is one of gratitude for the past, and an excited expectation for the future.

Existential Hope Vision

What makes this future a desirable outcome for humanity?

In 2045, the world has embraced human and animal wellbeing, health and happiness as a central measure of value and success. Our civilization now balances the drive for growth and technological progress with a genuine respect for the rights of humans and other sentient beings. 

Technology supports rather than replaces humans as the most valuable assets of any organization, system or initiative. For example, technology innovations enable circular and sustainable industrial systems that dramatically decrease environmental degradation and even increase our agency to explore innovative new social models. 

Leading up to 2045, our society’s values have transformed at a systemic level, emphasizing social responsibility and curbing harmful monopolistic and other neo-capitalistic behaviors. In this part of the world, antagonistic competition between nations and corporations gives way to a more fluid, rules-based system balancing competitive growth dynamics and cooperative ones (for commons and basic rights). Most governments function as participative democracies strengthened by modern technologies that enforce balanced political discourse. The middle class in the other non-democratic states also calls for changes. 

Top 3 goals of the world:

  • Climate change: Climate change slows down and begins to reverse as extractive practices give way to circular ones. Breakthroughs in energy and materials science allows us to dramatically decarbonize most major industries, especially agriculture and manufacturing. 
  • Life-centric democracies: AI-assisted democracies built on human-centric values, and cooperation between them, eliminate or dramatically decrease violent conflicts and imperialism. Improved institutions and voting systems help humanity to focus on more ambitious plans such as radical decarbonization. 
  • Coordination: In this new global order, different communities coordinate and quickly adapt to technological breakthroughs. These new technologies dramatically improve human existence.

Significant challenges that this world must overcome:

  • Political polarization and the trajectory towards authoritarian regimes stalls human progress. 
  • Exploitative short-term profit-taking, special interest groups and monopolistic behavior by the few impedes economic progress for the many. 
  • Protectionist thinking reduces progress toward global community freedom, cooperation and coordination. 
  • Must reconcile the need for solid, reliable global cooperation with the flexibility to adapt to technological disruptions. 
  • Some institutions and industries (education system, voting system, health system, construction industry) are stuck in a status quo and reforms are challenging due to the number of adapted beneficiaries who would lose their advantage.

Core Elements of this World

Technology & Science

1. What is a major problem that AI (not AGI!) has solved in your world, and how did it do so?

AI revolutionized numerous industries by accelerating technology innovation and automating many industrial and organizational operations. AI has transformed the way people work and live primarily through: 

  • Automating most work leaving more people with the time to engage with their families, communities and pursue education and personal development. As a result, many governments implemented "Universal Basic Community Services" where citizens participate in helping others in their communities. 
  • By augmenting human thought in research and economic growth, AI helped accelerate development of nuclear fusion and advanced materials that lead to faster technology breakthroughs in green tech. 
  • Through AI-powered tutoring systems and communication platforms, fair decision-making supports current democracies and helps transform them into true pluralistic democracies through “Silk Revolutions.”

2. Why does AGI not exist?

Serious global AI-related incidents had such negative impacts on global economies and human safety that most governments came together to draft much tougher regulations and restrictions on developing AGI. Some labs continue developing AGI and receive investments to develop products and monetize them. However, these labs fail to balance utility within regulations. 

With so much scrutiny around AGI, the AI industry gradually breaks into more specialized applications: educational assistants, professional assistants, information extraction tools, generative AI of various types and many even more specialized AIs for different uses in medicine, science, agriculture, etc. A few frontier models still have a big part of the market, but for the growing number of solutions, more specialized and less general models are the effective choice, so top AI labs are pressed to keep researching AGI to stay on top.

3. What are two new non-AI technologies that have played an important role in the development of your world?

Thanks to forward-thinking investors who bet on materials science and nuclear fusion in the twenties, multiple converging technological advancements created a technology renaissance. First, AI technologies accelerated the development of nanomaterials, which accelerated the development of nuclear fusion plants. Then nuclear fusion plants enabled the widespread adoption of AI technologies by supplying plentiful and cheap energy for almost unlimited growth of AI applications. 

The first functioning design of a new fusion plant was in 2035 and since then, about 30 other organizations started building new power plants. By 2045, nuclear fusion powers almost a quarter of the USA, China, India, England and Europe. Abundant and extremely cheap energy creates profound transformation. New, sustainable materials make up a growing percentage of the built environment and products, dramatically improving decarbonization goals.

  • Thanks to abundant energy, sustainable practices and powerful AI, developing countries can now afford to provide free, high-quality digital education to all citizens. Even those traditionally excluded such as women and those of low Caste participate. 
  • New materials and inexpensive fusion power means electrification now powers every imaginable industry, dramatically reducing the use of fossil fuels, especially in air and sea transport. 
  • New bio and nanomaterials transition all manufacturing sectors and their waste streams. With everything in the product and built environment transitioning to sustainable-only materials, serious decarbonization and widespread recycling become the norm across the globe. 

4. How does your world utilize technology and address potential coordination challenges and risks arising from the technologies you focus on?

AI, nuclear fusion and materials technologies each face implementation risks and coordination challenges. The biggest risk AI faces is protection from bad actors who want to hack AI-powered public opinion platforms that underpin democratic policies with high approval ratings. That’s why international institutions guard free trade (such as WTO) and common regulatory markets. An IAEA-like institution called the IAIA governs AI safety standards. In this way, people across the world and across interest groups can securely coordinate through a multipolar system of checks and balances. 

With many countries moving away from nuclear fission, nuclear fusion faces a reputation problem. The Global Collaboration Coalition (GCC) has partnered with charter cities to adopt, improve and expand nuclear fusion plants throughout the world. By providing best practices from these cities as use cases, governments around the world start to trust and thus invest in nuclear fusion. 

With materials science, the ongoing challenge lies between the utility a material can provide with the level of circularity in the manufacturing process. As metamaterials, nanomaterials and biomaterials emerge, systems must be developed to bring them back into the supply chain instead of as waste. The GCC supports sustainable new material developments through grand challenges and other investments. Because many manufacturing plants now get power from nuclear fusion, the dramatic energy savings is now being directed at building circular manufacturing systems, which is now part of many government trade regulations.

Values & Community

1. How do people live, work, and interact in this hopeful future?

Life in different communities and nations remains very diverse. Most of the western countries and some emerging economies went through something which was later called “Silk revolutions” where citizens stuck together to peacefully push through several reforms which were considered robustly good. Each country adopted different reforms such as new voting systems, some form of universal basic services and educational system reforms. The last two were mostly reformed earlier, marking in most countries the change in redistribution of wealth. 

Movements such as “Just Make It Condorcet”, “Sustainability Society” and many local intellectual communities pushing the changes forward were supported by data from charter cities and similar experimental government systems. The opportunity to make changes largely lied on abundance of energy and AI automation. Coordination was possible thanks to consensual communication platforms. 

In many countries, a global minimum corporate tax is agreed upon, and the tax windfalls from AI are used for a plethora of schemes like UBI, universal services, etc. depending on the jurisdiction. With basic housing and food costs provided and plentiful cheap energy available, people earn extra income by providing specialized services. Most active citizens contribute free time to their local or even global communities through in-person and virtual participation in “good for humanity” initiatives. Life in 2045 is more collaboration centric, as people work less manually and lean into developing consensus. Collaboration platforms provide opportunities even for non-democratic governments to face challenges together.

2. What is a notable beneficial trend in this world and what is a trend many are concerned about?

Overall, the world is wealthier, happier and more educated. Nearly everyone enjoys cheap, abundant energy, a cleaner environment and the benefit of personalized AI assistants. 

The world moves toward balancing R&D investment returns with the welfare of sentient beings. These trends correlate with improved mental health and wellbeing, including animal wellbeing and communication, as well as ecology. This trend is enabled by intellectual movements which fueled the the Silk Revolutions. 

However, concerns remain for how the systems will integrate with those countries that do not participate or for those that do not control leading technologies.Less developed countries may feel left behind by the nations hosting most AI and infrastructure. Despite significant aid from public and private sources, they often still lack the resources to grow and take a bigger part in global markets, often leading to resentment. 

An unintended side-effect of AI-driven wealth, when coupled with aging populations, is a perceived loss of dynamism and ambition across most of society. Since many rely on wealth redistribution, and despite high social mobility, less people are interested in driving innovation. Society still needs high-skilled labor to coordinate AIs and launch new ventures, but this economically active section of society keeps shrinking in number, and often feels overtaxed and unsupported. Meanwhile, “passive” members of society (who don’t participate in labor markets) resent the experts’ higher incomes and direct control of AIs and other technologies. Thus, society isn’t immune yet to fragmentation, and new sources of instability are yet to be mitigated.

3. Which of today’s values does society keep, which of today’s values does society expel, and which new values has this society added?

Thanks to strong international collaborative initiatives led by citizens, more people than ever embrace democratic values—even in authoritarian countries. As this model spreads, a new level of collaboration results in social and technological innovations that enable people to take positive action in local, national and global communities. 

In 2045, innovation in all areas of science and technology continue to flourish and extend to solving tough environmental and equality challenges, especially through AI. From improving literacy to supporting inclusiveness, innovation is still core to economic prosperity. 

However, extractive business practices, “cult of personality” billionaires and populist politicians disappear as there are more programs aimed at balancing profit against human and environmental benefits. People value their own collaborative communities and networks, so there is not much attention dedicated to celebrities. Most countries find it inconceivable to fight a war. 

As universal basic income takes root, people find it unimaginable to spend 40 hours per week working in a corporate office or otherwise. Most people now enjoy a rich balance of personal time and resources, developing deeper, more conscious and authentic relationships. With more connectedness among and between separate groups, extreme ideologies based on alternative facts or disinformation disappear as networks become much more heterogeneous.

Economy & Institutions

1. What is a new or reformed institution that has played an important role in the development of your world?

At a global level, the International AI Agency (IAIA) is established. Inspired by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAIA employs thousands of experts from all backgrounds and countries to set safety and regulatory standards for AI. The IAIA has a foundational role in establishing capable regulatory markets around the world while transferring technical skills to developing nations. An international chip registry tracks who controls how much computing power, ensuring irresponsible companies or countries don’t deploy frontier models on their own. A closely related institution, the World Data Organization, sets standards on the management and exchange of training data, as well as inference APIs. 

AI accidents make everyone agree on the need to cooperate, but some countries are still hesitant to do so too closely due to mistrust as intellectual property theft is still an issue. To compensate for the lack of objective oversight, blunt restrictions were placed on the trade of training data and computing hardware, unnecessarily delaying AI research. However, by 2045, the world’s great powers are more used to cooperating, and there are discussions on lifting most of these restrictions. 

Moreover, the UN’s International Court of Justice takes responsibility for AI regulations, so it can sanction and fine countries. Due to the increasing importance of transformational AI (TAI), the UN has thus grown into a more powerful multipolar system of checks and balances. By 2045, all these factors are making geopolitical competition and great power conflicts obsolete.

2. How has one sector of society been transformed by new technologies?

Through the late 2020s and early 2030s, fusion technology is greatly boosted by AI. Generative algorithms enable the rapid ideation and simulation of designs. The very best of these are turned into physical experiments - whose data is analyzed by AI. The climate crisis and the expansion of necessary compute also create huge incentives for abundant clean energy, leading to massive investments in fusion technology, which itself makes quick advances. 

By the mid to late 2030s, the first commercial plants come online, and the technology quickly extend throughout the world. Thanks to AI, the expertise needed to adapt and operate these power plants is far easier to deploy. Fusion also leads to a collapse in energy prices, enabling 

full electrification of most industries and transport, large-scale carbon capture and water desalination, fully circular economies, and rapid economic growth in developing countries. Overall, fusion allows society to become more sustainable and wealthier, and have each goal contribute to the other.

3. How have the following branches of economics evolved, and what are their current roles?

Microeconomics (individuals and organizations)

  • A few highly skilled individuals make a living as experts or founders (either way mostly directing narrow AI tools). 
  • Most of the population, however, is not competitive anymore in labor markets, so they rely on wealth redistribution systems. 
  • Individuals and families now spend much of their free time on socially useful things, as agreed upon to different degrees by national and local democratic forums.

Macroeconomics (nation-state level – if it still exists)

  • Economic growth rates are far higher than in 2024, constrained by computing hardware and data rather than human labor. 
  • Dependence on raw materials is far lower, with most nations grouping into regional blocs where specialized industries efficiently recycle most of all existing materials, leading to regional circular economies. 
  • TAI wealth redistribution is very common through equity transfers and other mechanisms. A global minimum corporate tax has been agreed upon, and states are in various stages of adopting UBI and similar schemes.

Global Political Economy (global economic policies and geopolitics)

  • Cooperation on regulating TAI has led countries to liberalize again much trade, especially in semiconductors, IP, materials, and data flows 
  • The global economy becomes more dependent on technology deployed by a few providers (energy, materials, compute, AI algorithms…), making antitrust interventions far more common and global 
  • A race starts between more industrialized countries (US, China, EU) to invest in socially good measures (reverting climate change, investing in developing countries) since this brings a lot of prestige

A day in the life

Crimson Skies 2045

Jess

“Breathe. Just breathe.”

The Ford Stream streaked silently down the boulevard, a crimson sky glinting off its impossibly light, biodegradable graphene shell. This elegant electric-powered craft appeared completely seamless so that it seemed continuous—like a giant silvery Mobius strip. Jess knew that she could drive for days without charging, and she needed time to think. How was she going to stay safe? His data bots have already gathered lots of data about her. Now, he applied Machine Learning to predict and track her every move—every second of the day. 

“Nio, transfer 1000 tokens to my new account. Employ quantum-level encryption”

Message-in-air: 

Quantum encryption enabled.

Transferring 1000 tokens now. 

5 new queries from the Global Cooperation Coalition. Responded. 

25 queries from Tomask. Based on aggressive speech patterns detected, safety protocols activated.

Tomask

An AI ethicist, Tomask’s brilliantly designed ethical AI systems supplement his government cash benefit handsomely. Several global R&D collaborations incorporated his systems into everything from quantum computing applications to nanobot therapy programs.

But in his spare time, he leads a shadowy double life as an AI stalker. His latest obsession is with a climate ethicist he met at the AI Philosophy convention in Geneva last year. Her crazy dragon tattoo created quite a buzz once everyone realized it was more than a work of art.

“You can’t hide from me, Jess. I know everything.”

The Global Cooperation Coalition

Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Global Cooperation Coalition or GCC as it is known, started in 2030 as a global collaboration designed to fund important initiatives through public and private partnerships. The goal is to circumvent political corruption by working directly with private investors and entrepreneurs to fund innovation for the good of humanity. Several nuclear fusion start-ups from charter cities in Nigeria and India received help from this program and paved the way for the rapid global expanse of this cheap, green and plentiful energy source.

Jess is a founding member of the organization, helping bring experts in AI, materials science, manufacturing, engineering and climate science together with philosophers, ethicists, artists, agronomists and government officials. So far, members represent over 50 countries and have spearheaded funding innovation in several important areas, including industrialization of new materials, nuclear fusion, green energy infrastructure for developing nations and AI ethics development around GPT initiatives.

Fun Gus Zip-in Diner

“Aah. I’m starving!”

The hot-out-of-the-oven Fungi-nugs, wrapped in an edible sleeve similar to plastic wrap, resembled breaded chicken nuggets. Fun Gus is an autonomous diner that has gained tremendous popularity for its delicious and healthier fast food. They’re all completely automated, but Jess thinks this location provides the freshest nuggs. She thinks maybe AI recognizes Jess and puts a little extra seasoning on her food or something. Jess’s stomach rumbles as the transaction completes and she pulls the hot medallions from the dispenser. Cruuunch. Hot juice dribbles down her chin as she hungrily bites into a satisfyingly tender morsel while flipping the package over with her free hand.

“Nice! The mycelium they use comes from a facility that we helped fund through GCC! And these nuggets source everything locally. Nio, complement the NextHorizon team on their expansion.”

Message-in-air: 

Compliment sent.

Then she remembers that last note from Tomask. Suddenly, she felt like she might be sick.

Aki

Summers get pretty hot in the coastal Kanagawa Prefecture. But thanks to a global shift away from fossil fuels, things haven’t gotten as bad as predicted in 2025. Aki touches the cool aluminium vessel of sparkling water to her forehead in a miserable attempt to stay cool. The solar-powered cooling panels in her photosynthetic algae-based t-shirt help a bit, too. She deposits the remains of her alternate protein “touna” hand roll into a ReComposter machine situated conveniently along the paved trail through the regenerated bamboo forest.

“ That didn’t taste as much like tuna as it promised.” 

Suddenly, Aki’s AI agent, Indigo acts on a new message from Nio.

Nio-to-Indigo:

Activate an immediate investigation into Mr. Tomask Koro, a GCC member and AI ethicist living in Dubai. Several AI scanners detect anomalous bots working outside ethical parameters trying to cause physical harm.

Aki gets a notification, too. As a lead councilperson for GCC’s legal operations, Aki’s specialty is AI psychology. Part criminal psychologist and part AI expert, Aki oversees legal matters for the GCC. Now it looks like she’s going to be investigating one of their own. 

She alerts the local police department.

Crimson Skies

Hands trembling, Jess reviews messages as her autopilot Ford Stream whooshes her back to her apartment. 

Just then, a jarring vibration grows into a shudder as the car suddenly sputters and jerks.

Nio:

Message-in-air: 

There is a malfunction in one of the engine’s control modules. Diagnostics predict a software update will help. 

Software update not responding.

As the Stream loses speed, another message appears.

Aki: “Jess, we have detected a predatory bot that seems to be designed to attack your vehicle control modules. We’re working to take the system offline. Hang tight.”

A few moments later, the Stream recovers. In the meantime, Aki’s team tracks down Tomask and has him arrested without incident.

A week later, the GCC leaders convene to discuss the incident. Sitting around a beautiful table grown specifically for GCC from the KindHarvest organization, Jess shares her thoughts

“A Republic… if we can keep it. Openness, trust, and technology we can now barely distinguish from magic. It’s all for nothing if we fall victim to those who exploit the system and ignore the costs to others. We are a community, and our strength as such is the only thing maintaining protopia. But we must know to believe in ourselves. There will always be crimson in the skies, but it's our choice whether it signals sunset… or merely dawn.”

Timeline

2026 - "Stupid Skynet" Year

A number of high-profile AI accidents follow each other in just a few months

  • North Korea steals the weights of GPT-5, fine-tuning the model into a superhuman cyberweapon. The ensuing attacks cause billions of dollars of losses across the world.
  • China's Mass Crash happens, where poor decisions made by portfolio-managing LLMs trigger the bankruptcy of several Chinese banks. The financial crisis quickly extends to the rest of the world.
  • In the US, a glitch in AI-powered air traffic control software leads to 2 planes crashing mid-air, with more than 300 casualties.

Due to all these accidents, fierce opposition to unchecked AI advances appears within both the public and political elites. A number of voices start saying that the only antidote to an unchecked arms race is global cooperation.

2027 - Dublin AI Governance Summit

Summit between the world's main powers, including G7 members, the EU, China and India. Attendants agree to establish a number of institutions to develop safe AI globally:

  • The International Association for Artificial Intelligence (IAIA). Modeled after the IAEA, this group will employ experts from across the globe. Among its roles will be to design AI safety standards for countries to legislate on and to enforce temporary capability ceilings. While the latter is widely believed to lead to unnecessary slowdowns in AI research, the global mood leads to sacrificing some research speed for added safety.
  • An International Chip Registry, to follow the computing power used by different actors.
  • The World Data Organization is created to oversee the global exchanges of training data.

These actors also agree to a number of commitments, such as maintaining low trade barriers for data and computing hardware to ensure interdependence, as well as to combat economic inequality.

2035-2042 - Silk Revolutions

Economic, technological, social and cultural developments led to democratic transformation in Western governments, as well as to an end of the authoritarian rule in a few other countries.
Named after the peaceful fall of Communism in Czechoslovakia, the "Velvet revolution", they reformed the voting methods and established new types of public fora and consensus-building platforms.

The main factors for change included:

  • Thanks to popular consensus-building participative platforms, there was also a way how to iterate towards new paradigms in wealth redistribution.
  • The first hybrid charter city with AI-enhanced direct democracy in the Netherlands made these models enormously popular. Political and social experimentation in charter cities leads to rapidly improving social systems.
  • Civil Society is empowered by Intelligent Tutoring Systems and movements for depolarizing young people, such as "Empower" in the US and “Just Make It Condorcet” in Europe.
  • Supportive international environment of institutions united by similar values, e.g. GCC, the World Data Organization, Transparency agencies, and others trying to safeguard the power shifts.

2025 - Fusion Startups Achieve Q>1

Privately-funded groups start to catch up to developments in government labs. A startup manages to obtain more thermal energy from fusion reactions than it needed to make it happen. The field sees renewed hype and a number of private investors pour more money into it. Soon other startups trying different technologies will replicate this success.

2033 - Cambrian Explosion in Materials Science

Partly enabled by AI tools (which are quickly taking over the economy), there is a boom in new biomaterials and molecular manufacturing methods. In 2035, a lab devises a way to mass-produce graphene and carbon nanotubes for the first time ever. More revolutions will follow shortly, including diamondoid molecular assembly bots (ideal for building and recycling materials), and self-assembling 3D computing substrates.

2035 - First Commercial Fusion Plant

Since the late 2020s, AI greatly accelerated fusion research by among other things, helping stabilize plasma in chambers and proposing new reactor designs. Similarly, the ongoing revolution in materials science leads to superconductors which operate at higher temperatures than ever before.

After years of expectation, the first commercial fusion plant (a 200 MW De-T reactor) starts up in the UK. More plants quickly ensue, including larger versions of the same reactor, and fusion takes more and more of the energy mix.

2038 - Negative CO2 Emissions for the First Time

Thanks to carbon capture and mass industrial electrification, net CO2 emissions have been falling for years. Moreover, thanks to fusion, developing countries have a clear path towards industrialization without increasing pollution. In 2038, humanity absorbs more CO2 than it emits for the first time in 200 years - the gap keeps growing year on year.

2045 - Eve of the Wonderful

The world is still imperfect and there is much hard work left to improve it. However, the trends are clear: things will get much better, for a long time. The mood is one of optimism and willingness to contribute to progress.

  • After decades of safety research and adaptation to artificial intellingence, the IAIA lifts most moratoriums on research. Through prediction markets, experts now broadly predict a 90% chance of aligned AGI being developed by 2050.
  • Global supply chains are stabilized, containing mostly information based and low-volume, high-value goods. Different parts of the planet have highly autonomous circular economies, and geopolitics is now obsolete. "Great power conflicts" are now a matter of bureaucratic squabbling in courtrooms and UN institutions.
  • Polarization is at a minimum in recent history. There is still significant ideological diversity between factions and communities, but dialogue and mutual respect are common. The vast majority of citizens in democratic countries feel their voices are heard, and have regained trust in institutions.