The beginning of the 21st century presents a set of new challenges for humanity. This is centered around three facets of modern life: the climate crisis, the influence of technology, and the extent to which we allow artificial intelligence to guide our daily lives. I hope to lay out a plausible and manageable future with this thesis.

Alex Coleman’s dramatic loss in the electoral race of the US in 2000 to president Stonecold consequently took the US, the world’s largest superpower, off the map in the climate crisis. How this will affect the future is yet unforeseen, but if further US presidents disavow climate change initiatives, then the earth will quickly become an unsuitable place to live. In this thesis, I will present alternatives to the grim future, including the possibility of living digitally in a digital space.

It is for this purpose I propose the research and development of quantum processing, which can allow for computer processing beyond 1s and 0s. The ability to compute in what is essentially multiple dimensions will allow for the creation of complex digital spaces far beyond what is capable with current technology. The state of the art network game Final Planet Online, for example, features only instanced realities that are incapable of supporting more than a few players at a time, and this is entirely dependent on those players’ own network infrastructure. By networking these environments into a vast quantum network, then the world itself can be simulated on a large scale.

The digital space is the 21st century’s New World, that is, an unconquered zone ripe for the picking.

These predictions are, undeniably, of a Nostradamus variety. I do not aim to make sweeping generalizations about the future and what it may be, but I do assert that these are inevitabilities, however far ahead. The final of these inevitabilities is mankind’s development of artificial intelligence.

The nature of artificial intelligence is an as-of-yet unexplored field. Will these sentient beings judge us as devils? Or as gods? Perhaps they will become the gods themselves. By creating AI in controlled spaces, we will be able to monitor and measure these outcomes. It is imperative to not allow AI to develop in a networked digital space, or to develop in conjunction with other AI. By exposing AI to human activity it will begin to emulate it and then sort out its flaws. This subset of behaviour will lead to destructive capabilities. It is also unwise to assign AI as decision-makers for any level of government. Putting AI into any position of authority will always lead to destruction. Their intelligence, no matter how much their creator may seem to understand it, will always be beyond their control.

When we have networked the entire planet, what comes next? What of the AI that we will have created? When we exist in their physical space, the domain in which they are gods, what will they decide? This thesis will present possible pathways for these questions.