Twenty Forty Nine

I woke up this morning and I asked my digital personal assistant to give me a summary of what happened in the world during my sleep.

“Today, 26 January 2049, the EuroData is quoted at 0,73 USData at the NY Data Exchange Market and at 0,68 CNHData in Shanghai. Overnight, the European Confederation negotiated hard at the World Data Forum in Manila to support its views on the Data Trade Agreement with Russia, China, India and the US. Europe is pushing for a data migration percentage towards Europe limited to 80%, while the remaining 20% would be provided by European sources, allowing a good balance between data ownership, internal security, cultural heritage and societal privacy”.

By Digital Doge

Well, I am not totally convinced that this would provide Europe and the other major data powers with the wealth we have known in the past, but we have to consider the strong growth of Africa and South America that are gaining part of the data market. All in all, we are a unique global and connected market.

But first things first: let’s start the day with a good breakfast. It is nice to have a fridge with my preferred food, provided by the drone delivery systems of the nearby supermarket. They know my preferences, my daily expected consumption of calories, and they always propose fresh products easily available: I can buy the best quality through a secure application on the web. Indeed, just like my grandchildren, I do not care anymore about certain privacy issues linked to old politically correct considerations when I have a direct, personal advantage for a higher quality of life. Before leaving home to go to the important meeting I have on digital cloning, I check my health implants and health monitoring devices to verify that everything is OK: at the age of 91 I have to take care that my main vital functions are within the safe range, as all the sensors seem to indicate.

Here is the car, booked at Above by my digital assistant who is carefully managing my agenda. It is one of the last IBMW models, very comfortable, totally autonomous and, of course, full electric. Even if it is still possible, men driving a car is not recommended as it increases the risk of accidents. As always, the traffic is fluid, being AI controlled, and as I do not like to spend time driving (autonomous driving is doing the job for me) I can relax and read the news. On top of that, I appreciate that in the last 20 years I did not need to invest in a personal car as the majority of vehicles are now shared cars with the latest safety and security features. And this is highly appreciated, as suddenly, while reading some more news in the car, the virtual screen is showing that some car hackers have locked them, trying to get ransom from Above to have their cars ready for the next rental. I am not worried, as this last model car has self-healing and adaptive mechanisms to isolate the malfunctioning services and is leveraging upon V2V communication and edge computing to immediately react to network traffic conditions: I will arrive on time to my meeting. The meeting is taking place at the French National Centre for Public Private Cooperation in digital innovation and cybersecurity. The Centre has a long success story for the development, in cooperation also with other National Centres and the European solutions, of competitive solutions “made in Europe”.

Before entering the meeting, I check with my bank the status of my investments. Some thirty years ago I started to invest in cybersecurity companies dealing with secure financial transactions. They were specialised in blockchain and crypto currencies and I managed to have a good return, integrating substantially what could have been a limited retirement fund. A couple of those companies were particularly interesting as they evolved their initial business, merging the blockchain concept with social media to provide platform services with decentralized versions of social media channels having strong end-to-end encryption, guaranteeing higher privacy and data security. Thanks to its latest Machine Learning algorithms and the extra fast 7,5G connection, my IP-49 (the latest Intelligent Phone, for those who did not follow the new model issued by Amasoft) is analysing the data market for cybersecurity products, identifying the options for selling or purchasing, suggesting, for my final decision, the best alternatives, all through a secure connection to the bank.

Being respectful of our environment and to reduce useless plane travels, we are going to have our meeting via secure remote video connection. The connection is secured via a quantum computing process which is providing an aleatory frequency hopping validated on both sides of the video connection and using cryptographic algorithms based on the properties of quantum mechanics. Not only the hardware infrastructure is virtualized but also the majority of business travels are today virtual, and I do not need to travel that much as in the past! The virtual presence of our European experts at the meeting is amazing: they look almost real in the 3D rendering of the holo-system. This is really facilitating the discussion as today we have to make an important decision on digital cloning.

For years we have worked on simple digital twins, first making a virtual replica of simple physical objects, then progressively replicating complex living entities. This allowed us to create, for instance, virtual pets that are so appreciated by kids or people who live alone. One of the big challenges we had to solve was how to avoid external unwanted intrusion in people’s personal lives through these pets. But today we are discussing a major issue: will we be able one day to replicate as digital twin the human brain? We know this could take several tens of years. Neural networks have been studied since the second world war but only recently we have reached a scheme that could operationally and in a miniaturized structure replicate part of the human brain, thanks to the incredible innovations provided by AI and quantum computing. Of course, this will raise ethical concerns and we can imagine the most conservative part of the population criticizing the creation of a digital replica of part of a human brain. Yet, this could help all those suffering neurological traumas, and in the future reduce the impact of Alzheimer’s in ageing populations. Nevertheless, the topic is sensitive. Sami, a neurophysiologist from Lapland University (lucky him, enjoying the milder weather of our global warming) is thinking that in about 50 years, by 2100, we (or, better, our grandchildren) will be able to start testing the transfer of human memories to virtual replicas. In theory, a man could clone himself in a new body (or a bionic hybrid) and transfer his memory to it, thus becoming a kind of immortal! This thought is fascinating but is also making me shiver … But I am really shivering! How is this possible? The weather outside in Paris is hot and here it is so cold, what is happening? The air conditioning is deregulated: the central regulatory system is under cyber-attack! The virtual connection is also unstable: the electrical system is under attack. Is this a “divine punishment” of our impure thoughts for making men immortal, or “simply” another act of the global cyber economy war of one of our sometimes allies, sometimes competitors?