A.I. 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future, by Kai-Fu Lee and Chen Qiufan, offers a multi-faceted look into the potential futures shaped by artificial intelligence. Through a blend of storytelling and analysis, the authors, with their deep roots in AI development, present ten narratives that explore the implications of AI on various aspects of human life without overhyping its potential.
The book delves into topics such as AI’s influence on social structures, education, and economics. One story, The Golden Elephant, examines AI’s societal externalities, like deepening social biases, while Twin Sparrows explores personalized AI in education, suggesting profound changes in learning and human relationships with technology.
Dreaming of Plentitude, contemplates a post-scarcity society, where despite technological abundance, societal challenges persist. In this final vision of A.I. 2041, Kai-Fu Lee envisions a post-scarcity society where technological advancements in AI, automation, and energy have created an abundance akin to the utopian worlds of science fiction. This concept of Plentitude, however, reveals complex social dynamics. The story, set in Australia, shows that despite the availability of resources, the challenge of maintaining motivation and purpose remains, as individuals struggle with motivation and substance abuse. Lee suggests that technological progress alone won’t solve human issues and that even in a world of plenty, societal values and structures will continue to play a crucial role.
Lee and Qiufan’s work serves not just as a forecast but as a prompt for discourse on the ethical and practical dimensions of AI’s evolution in our society.