BBC Future

Future Thinking

How to survive the future

If any of our visions of technological revolution come true, then how will humans cope? Economist and futurist Robin Hanson presents his guide.

Like many people, economist and futurist Robin Hanson says he wants to live for as long as he can, but what would be the best way to do this? First, he says you could do all the things that will reduce your chance of dying now – like wearing seatbelts, avoiding dangerous activity and eating healthy food. 

Then there’s finding ways to get past the limitations of our bodies and current medicine, which could mean donating one’s body or brain to cryogenics. If something like whole brain emulation is possible you could take frozen brains of people, and make another version of that old brain.

Immortality is much harder than it seems. It’s not just a matter of finding the ways to potentially live forever, you have to do it in a way that makes it cheap and valuable enough to make it easy for you to stay around. Then there’s artificial intelligence. If the AI revolution comes, we can’t depend on our ability to earn wages for our survival and prosperity. Practically, we should diversify your assets and own things other than your ability to earn wages, like stocks, real estate, patents, etc. And when there’s a world with millions of robots, don’t count on being at the centre of things.

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