Spirit of the past, present and the future
The real problem with the world today is that for us humans it is damn tough to recognize our own mistakes and face the fact that we have done something wrong. In the end, if one traces back the reason for our planet’s most urgent problems, such as, extinction of species, wars, and climate change it eventually comes down to people and our culture and values, the behavioral patterns and mistakes that we keep repeating hoping to get different results. And objectively we know all that. To make things even worse, we are bombarded with negative news day after day and there’s little that us everyday people can do to feel meaningful and actually improve the state of the world. And it’s time to get honest about the fact that we humans as individuals have become bystanders who have watched these problems rise and grow to nearly unsustainable scale.
Fortunately, while the time is running out, we also live in era when it is possible to solve today’s problems within the next couple decades. Blind optimism or not, in the center of that statement is an understanding that the rapid growth and availability of exponential technologies will create exponential impact by disrupting whole lot of industries simultaneously and for good. Take a look at the artificial intelligence, robotics, Virtual Reality or 3D printing for example and then add infinite computing power in the mix. All the sudden, the problems become opportunities and impossible becomes possible.
The trouble and the point here is that in order to puzzle out any grand challenge we each see around us, in the long run, no matter how powerful technologies we leverage, we need social change, we need to reflect about who we are and how we look the world around us and start acknowledging our own mistakes and above all, their consequences. It is time to get our values straight. If we want to fix the broken world, first we need to fix what’s broken inside us, meaning that this change needs to start from the inside. It also requires that these challenges should be presented in more individual context since we humans have a tendency to appreciate the smaller, the most personal and intimate moments the most. That paves the road to idea that the greatest opportunity for individual to positively impact the world is to help one reflect and engage with the issues that matter to her or him on every day basis.
So what kind of transformational power might exponential technologies offer us to change people’s lives for the better and reshape the planet? The underlying hypothesis is this: empowering all people from all around the globe to solve the challenges we each see around us will make a world a better place, a bit by bit.
Let’s take a look at the virtual reality boosted with AI and it’s massive capability to be used as a powerful tool for storytelling and education. The idea presented here is best described by the story and the message of the book Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, a tale of transformational experience.
The novel tells story of cold-hearted Ebenezer Scrooge, who is visited by the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. The three spirit-guides, along with each of their narratives carry out a different moral message. Along the way and through the spirits’ guidance Scrooge overcomes his self-centered and greedy behavior by encountering his past by visiting his memories, learning to empathize and simply by seeing what consequences his actions have. By providing Scrooge with a sense of purpose and hope he was able to become aware that he is part of something bigger than himself.
I truly believe that VR can create same transformational narrative and experience for every human on this planet by recreating the past, the present and the future with personal memories and experiences to be relived as if you were there. Artificial intelligence, which would serve as the spirits and a guide to provide a relevant guidance to personal development with it’s exponential and contextual problem solving capability in particular moment in time. Imagine how recreating the past, the present and the future with personal guide along this intensive experience would connect us to our very own memories and actions in a way that we could remember what we had and have and what we can lose. As an optimist I believe that this could lead to individual empowerment, making humans better and beginning to act towards the common good, simply by reflecting their own life and choices they make.
Technology cannot give us all solutions for the future, but it brings them within our reach. And while we are reaching, we need a fuller understanding of ourselves and regain a sense of purpose and a sense of a role in a changing world. The change that starts small, but is something to really work for.
This text is based on the idea submitted for Global Impact Challenge. This challenge was an open call to entrepreneurs, leaders, scientists, and engineers with the most innovative ideas for moonshot innovations and startups that can positively impact a billion people in 10 years.
What’s your moonshot?