I’ve always had a fascination with the future. It began when, as a young teen, my family visited Disney World and the Spaceship Earth exhibit. In it were all types of futuristic advances that at the time seemed amazing. Today, not only are all of them in existence, they’re routine by a young person’s standards. Throughout history, innovations and advancements in all areas of our lives have enhanced our way of life in ways no one could ever imagine. My late grandmother, for instance, would have marveled at microwave ovens, UHD TVs, cellphones and, of course, the internet, and with good reason. Yet, look at how we see all these things as typical today. I bring this to your attention for a reason. My children, and their children, will grow up in a world where future advances surpass the advances of the past, exponentially by a factor of a million (my guess).
Artificial Intelligence has been in the news a lot this year, and rightfully so. Opinions differ on its impact and positive or negative effect on our future. I’ve already indicated my admiration for futuristic creations, so you know which side I fall in the discussion. However, if it turns out to be anything like the FX Series on Hulu “Class of 09” then I reserve the right to change my opinion. No doubt there are risks as there are with any discoveries and inventions, however, it’s difficult to stop the creative process. If you stop one region of the world from advancing it, another will simply advance it for their purposes.
As we look at how far AI has come in the few short months it’s been at the forefront of the public eye, we cannot fathom how far it will go or how many areas it will touch and impact. We can only hope that it will help tremendously in medical discoveries and cures, for example. AI, in and of itself, changes the game when it comes to future innovation. One key factor is the speed at which it allows innovation to take place versus our history to this point. Although the internet transformed our lives, it didn’t happen overnight or within just three months. First, there was AOL (America On-Line) and that annoying beep and seemingly infinite delay before we could sign on and access information. Processing speed was a key obstacle that had to be overcome before any routine use could be made of it for the average user. Not so for AI. Right out of the gate, AI has been rapid-fire with its results, and they will only get more refined, accurate, detailed, relevant and beneficial in all areas.
AI will play a key role in future generations’ ability to see progress and improvements in their quality of life at a more abundant rate, and a far greater speed and intensity than any generation to come before it. Children of the future will naturally need to adapt to persistent, indelible changes to their everyday lives in how they live, work and play at regular intervals throughout their lifetime. Imagine technology evolving at such a pace, from the time you enter high school until the time you graduate just four years later, that it requires routine technological training throughout this time. It’s certainly possible. That’s a stress factor and intensity that current and previous generations never experienced at this level.
Future generations will see great things, cure horrible diseases and make phenomenal advances in key areas to promote a higher quality of life. And, it will all happen much quicker than ever before. This will bring an increased focus and attention to the mind. Something we understand today that should have happened a long time ago. A paradigm shift in their everyday lives to incorporate mental fitness routines along with a physical fitness regimen.
“With great power comes great responsibility.” As future generations enjoy more abundant, routine and rapid enhancements to their lifestyles, total mind/body wellness may finally get the attention and respect it deserves. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The greatest wealth is the health of the mind.”
If all this about AI makes you feel a little uneasy, remember the words of Albert Einstein.
“Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Problems will be solved, harmony will be pursued and grandiose opportunities will emerge.
Although, as parents, we worry, we shouldn’t worry too much about our children of the future, as Mark Twain said about the mind, “With perseverance and self-discipline, it can be trained to find peace and serenity.” No doubt they’ll know how to do this, and thus they prove, once and for all, they really were smarter than us all along.
Incidentally, I didn’t use AI in my research or drafting of this story. I did use it, however, for the corresponding picture. I used the Bing Image Creator, powered by DALL·E. Pretty cool, don’t you think?
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