Letter to a friend: "2038"

Futuristic Picture


My dear friend,

I am really fascinated by the changes underway but also a little concerned for my grandchildren. I often projected myself into the future, trying to figure out what life will be like in the coming decades. The musings of my after-lunch naps or the dreams of my paradoxical sleep are sometimes paradise but often nightmarish.

I recently found myself in September 2038 the very day of my hundred years, nicely surrounded by my family and a few good friends! One hundred candles that I managed to blow thanks to the daily practice of my robotised treadmill. Thanks also to my many implants. I was outfitted with for the Paris Olympics in 2024. My great-grandson Eduard age of 37 had come from Shanghai by the recently launched 30 minute rocket flight! He was there with his Chinese wife and their son, an alien to me totally incomprehensible!

The 2038 Europe lost his footing in the face of China and America, and is thus relegated in the late country club, those who did not could or wanted to adapt in the age of artificial intelligence. Such rapid development caused the excitement of the strongest and the panic of the weak. Giant leap forward there, regression here. 2038 Europe is now a large museum and a huge recreation base for biologically connected tourists from all around the world. Edward and his family see Europe in the same way as we perceived Africa in our own youth.

The 2038 world is not driven, governed anymore by the national governments now reduced to a bare because of their lack of long-term vision! The digital corporations took power, providing their "members" all of the much needed services, health, education, security, insurance, banks, and this regardless of the territory where they live.

The OTT and some American billionaires and their Chinese equivalents demonstrated clear and assumed ambitions: increase of human potential, health, longevity. They partially succeeded: the average healthy life expectancy increased significantly thanks to the merger between machines and human beings. The conquest of other planets will soon allow humans spread throughout the universe in search of new resources.

The achievement of the two major suppliers of underwater systems, Subcom and Huawei, were extensively commented around my birthday table. Subcom is the strong arm of the US content providers and symmetrically Huawei for the Chinese ones. But everyone is happy to see that our activity still plays a major role. Thousands of micro-satellites now provide the bulk of regional traffic but two dense and smart networks of superhighways, an American and a Chinese, crisscross the ocean, provoking each other.

Elaine Stafford and Jayne Stowell, the two great ladies of the activity, still in great shape, enjoyed the discussion but even more so my favourite St Émilion wine and rejoiced with me that the new Chinese owner of this “grand cru” has been able to keep all its flavours.

In my wildest dreams, the famous Bordeaux wines and submarine optical fibre still play key roles.

Phew... so goes the 2038 world!

Jean Devos

AQEST Senior Advisor


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