Gaia's Translator
Gaia's Translator
Sci-Fi Chronicle

Gaia's Translator

Writer

Caroline Barrueco

image

Caroline Barrueco @ pollinations.ai

A sci-fi chronicle that takes a step into utopian and dystopian futures, where societies of tomorrow collide between interests and objectives, and where emerging technologies appear as a solid effort to create a global governance of long-term peace.
A sci-fi chronicle that takes a step into utopian and dystopian futures, where societies of tomorrow collide between interests and objectives, and where emerging technologies appear as a solid effort to create a global governance of long-term peace.

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All images illustrating this piece were generated by artificial intelligence using the open-source project Pollinations.ai

The author, Caroline Barrueco, typed a few words into the AI model and, in return, the system interpreted her words to create these images.

In the mid-2010s, people started to understand the profound impact Artificial Intelligence could have on society. About a decade later, Facial Recognition tools and Real-time CCTV systems were everywhere, and a large part of the data produced by individuals was embedded into a database. But the data generated was poorly used; far from reaching its potential.

2029

By the late 2020s, with almost half of the world's population inhabiting digital ecosystems such as the Mirrorworld, human behavior was easy to track. Physical human actions were also simple to trace. It did not take long for people to realize that we had the power to build one unified system with access to all available data to benefit from AI pattern recognition capabilities.

All human behavior was quantified, online and offline, tracked, and fed into a massive computer.

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Let me give you some context: at that point in history, the overall feeling of society was tiredness. The pandemic had been hitting hard for almost a decade; we had failed all prospects and agreements for decarbonizing the planet, and entire communities from the Southern Lands were being displaced off their homelands thanks to rising sea levels and droughts.

Technological power was owned by a few corporations, broadly located across a specific area of the globe. The corporations decided to unite to create an an Artificial Intelligent Governor to help their governments. The programmed goal of the Governor was for it to gain insights into winning political conflicts and resource extraction of outer lands; moreover, their AI Governor was responsible for creating strategies to protect their borders. As a plus, the machine helped develop new materials and discover new drugs for the corporations to sell. They were very proud of the results; the AI governor successfully served their purpose.

On a global scale, we were still facing the same problems as before; displacement, climate crisis, and environmental depletion. No one could say precisely why they were not tackling these issues, but we all suspected that they were not able to see them, even if they wanted to.

AI Governor city

Caroline Barrueco @ pollinations.ai

AI Governor city

Caroline Barrueco @ pollinations.ai

After all, people building these machines lived mainly digitally in the Mirrorworld. Up until now, no other species besides humans have access to the internet, so it is easy to feel alienated from the planet when you spend most of your time online. That is why they were blind to a fundamental pitfall: their AI Governor was running uniquely with human data, and only human behavior was tracked consistently. So, how could it give any meaningful advice about the whole world? What seems so obvious to us now was invisible to them back then.

As a result, we, from the Southern Lands of the earth, decided to build our own AI Governor and do it better. We started by tracking everything, from plankton to clouds, from reindeer to forests.

2039

It has been almost ten years since we implemented our Quantum Advisor: an enormous quantum computer made with time crystals located on a swarm of satellites hovering around the earth's atmosphere, powered entirely by solar energy. It can crunch and analyze almost all the information happening on the planet. This networked pattern recognition tool can make the invisible visible and help us make sense of complexities that are otherwise out of reach.

The whole world is tracked and converted into data points. Well, not the whole world, we still cannot follow a few plant species and microscopic beings. We know that not everything is quantifiable, but we need to translate things into data for the computer to understand. The computer can see emerging behavior on data, and send it back to us in a simplified way that our human brains can make sense of. It is a humbling experience to embrace our limitations in the face of the planet.

The Quantum Advisor does not really decide anything; neither do human governors. Our political system now consists of autonomous direct democracy that is put into place by a large group of decentralized legislators.

All the data is open and available to everyone. In fact, many scientific advancements have been made by citizen science and independent researchers since the Quantum Advisor started running.

The Quantum Advisor’s data reports are —at times— mysterious to us, like when it suggested that we stop using a certain kind of pigment in food, just to discover a few months later that this pigment was affecting a species in our microbiota that was causing us to feel depressed. The interconnectedness of everything becomes evident in its reports.

After a few incremental steps, the supercomputer could virtually end hunger by adjusting all stages of the food supply system! We now decided to follow its recommendations, even if we do not fully understand them.

2043

At this point, many countries as you used to know them ceased to exist; The path to the dissolution of borders was relatively straightforward. The Quantum Advisor, unlike the AI Governor, could not make sense of concepts such as countries or governments: its insights never took our borders into consideration, so governments had to collaborate conjunctively on almost every decision. With so many people inhabiting the Mirrorworld, most businesses were already location-independent.

The dissolution of borders

Caroline Barrueco @ pollinations.ai

The dissolution of borders

Caroline Barrueco @ pollinations.ai

Wealth was redistributed by micro-crypto payment, all blockchain-based; Location-specific currency was losing popularity. We realized we had the power to create one big 'supernation' by uniting many countries. That is when the Southern Lands were created: our countries' names are still in place, but they are a mere formality, mostly used to tag individual identities and to preserve the cultural heritage of each community.

As a way to make data more palatable to the Quantum Advisor, things are decided by means of autonomous direct democracy; every citizen has an algorithmic proxy that feeds a crowdsourcing platform with their political decisions regarding all matters. Every person votes on all bills every day. The parliament is in charge of making people's decisions take place, as well as intersecting them with the Quantum Advisor's reports.

Because migration is very fluid, we use Geospatial Data to help locate what matters to each person so that they can vote based on their physical location at any given moment. In urban areas, every person votes on everything happening in a radius of 500 km of their physical location. People can revise their AI proxy's decisions before sending them over, but almost no one did.

The Quantum Advisor also receives everyone's feelings and considers them in its reports. We have the impression that it can understand plants, animals, and fungi much better than we humans do, but this is just speculation; the truth is that since the Quantum Advisor started to send its insights over, our understanding of the planet and our place in it was amplified.

Gaia's translator

Caroline Barrueco @ pollinations.ai

Gaia's translator

Caroline Barrueco @ pollinations.ai

2045: Present Days

There are times when people's choices conflict with the Quantum Advisor's preferred path. You see, it took us a while to understand and accept that this machine is not putting humans' well-being first. Rather, it regulates the whole system, meaning the entire planet, even if it means we should sometimes compromise our needs. Some people called this supercomputer Gaia's Translator.

22 topics
Adapting to Climate Change
Anti-Corruption & Standards of Integrity
Decentralization & Local Governance
Digital Economy
Digital Governance and Society
Displacement and Migration
Economic Policy
Energy Efficiency
Environment Policy, Economics, and Management
Food and Nutrition Security
Global Health
Human Rights
Land Governance
Natural Resources
Peace Building & Social Cohesion
Political & Social Participation
Prevention and Management of Acute Crises and Disasters
Public Administration
Regional and Sectoral Economic Development
Renewable Energy
Rule of Law
Security
7 SDGs
03 Good Health and Well-Being
09 Industry, innovation and infrastructure
10 Reduce inequalities
13 Climate Action
15 Life On Land
16 Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
17 Partnerships for the Goals

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22 topics
  • Adapting to Climate Change
  • Anti-Corruption & Standards of Integrity
  • Decentralization & Local Governance
  • Digital Economy
  • Digital Governance and Society
  • Displacement and Migration
  • Economic Policy
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Environment Policy, Economics, and Management
  • Food and Nutrition Security
  • Global Health
  • Human Rights
  • Land Governance
  • Natural Resources
  • Peace Building & Social Cohesion
  • Political & Social Participation
  • Prevention and Management of Acute Crises and Disasters
  • Public Administration
  • Regional and Sectoral Economic Development
  • Renewable Energy
  • Rule of Law
  • Security
7 SDGs
  • 03 Good Health and Well-Being
  • 09 Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  • 10 Reduce inequalities
  • 13 Climate Action
  • 15 Life On Land
  • 16 Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
  • 17 Partnerships for the Goals