The 22nd century
A move towards post-scarcity and resource-based economies, further growth of transhumanism, and major
developments in space all mark the 22nd century. Practically
all of the world's energy comes from either fusion or renewable sources
intelligence – having begun to merge with human intelligence in the
previous century – now surpasses it, reaching whole new levels of cognitive
and intellectual capability. Though lacking the raw emotions and subtle
traits of organic human minds, the sheer depth and power of AI begins
to profoundly alter the course of history. Almost every high-level decision by government and business now comes directly from these sentient
machines, which oversee vast swathes of virtual employees, robots and
heavily automated systems.
in space during this time include numerous permanent, manned settlements
on the Moon and Mars; regular manned trips to the gas giants; huge mining operations in the asteroid fields; and the first probes to Alpha Centauri.
Space tourism booms during this period and trips to the Moon's surface
and elsewhere become relatively commonplace.
The speed and magnitude of progress now occurring, both on Earth and throughout the Solar System, is creating what earlier forecasters would have named a technological singularity. Indeed, many of the scientific discoveries in the 22nd century exceed the comprehension of "unaided" humans lacking the requisite brain upgrades and enhancements. The most notable breakthroughs are those in quantum physics – but wholly new fields also emerge that were completely untapped in
the previous century.