Future visions from SOS Children’s City Hamburg
Physical genetic modifications and educational robots: What will the children’s world look like in 50 years?
What will the world look like to children in almost 50 years?
ve axes, dpa, Rolf Vennenbernd
by Anna Schuetz
What will the world look like in 48 years? Which forms of society, which technical possibilities and chances will then become a reality for children and young people? For the 50th anniversary, SOS Children’s Village asked itself exactly these questions and appropriately looked almost 50 years into the future – but a futurist hopes for other developments.
Technical innovation as a driving force
Be it mobile classrooms, artificial intelligence that recognizes children’s moods, or implants for the brain and cornea that place a filter over what is seen in critical situations. Together with the consulting company for strategic future issues, Z_punkt, SOS Children’s City Hamburg has developed six different visions for “Children’s Worlds 2070”. The focus is clearly on the technology and the opportunities that technical innovations bring.
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More robust with the Resilience Kid
However, the following applies to these visions: They in no way represent wishes or realistic images of the future, but must instead provoke and encourage people to see and question current and possible future developments from new perspectives.
This includes, for example, the idea that there could be a so-called ‘Resilience Kid’ in 2070. It is about making children resilient before or shortly after birth through genetic or technological adaptations. This means that through the ‘Resilience Kid’ they can develop certain skills that will allow them to live a comfortable life in a world characterized by climate change. Treated children could then breathe underwater, drink salt water or filter polluted air. But since this procedure would be very expensive, only wealthy families could afford it. Inequality between children will continue to rise.
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Educational help thanks to Edu-Bot
Children and parents can be happy with an ‘Edu-Bot’ at first. This bot, controlled by artificial intelligence, would be a lifelong companion, supporting parents in raising their children and encouraging the offspring individually. Thanks to the ‘Edu-Bot’, all children, regardless of their individual starting situation, would have the same chance to live a self-determined life, but at the same time there would also be a risk of ever-increasing pressure to perform and alienation from their own parents.
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Futurist Reinhardt: “Technically possible”
In an interview with RTL, futurist Ulrich Reinhardt considers all future scenarios to be “probably technically feasible”. For him, however, the decisive question is: “Do we want it?” The needs that people have today – the desire for more community, friendship, family and neighborhood – speak a different language.
He himself foresees a future where technology will not be the focus, but instead will enable people to have more time for the things that are really important to them and that they really want.
Future visions make sense
While visions of the future may at first seem like maddening madness—which may never materialize in the form predicted—they are nevertheless important. “Forecasts are something that people can use for orientation,” explains Ulrich Reinhardt. “Especially today, we live in an anxious present and are more afraid of the future.” It is therefore always good to provide a view through visions of the future.