Right now I have Faith Popcorn on my mind (read our extensive interview with the lady). Not because the American futurist and trend spotter paints a somewhat overwhelming picture of the near future, but makes me feel that by being in denial about the veracity of what she has to say, I expose my ostrich mindset – burying my head in the sand. Either that, or I am hoping that Faith could go wrong this time, especially when she predicts that human beings will no longer be social animals, instead we would be happy leading silo lives.

I don’t think so.

Even though it is apparent that most of us spend more time staring at a digital screen than acknowledging the presence of, let alone smile at, another human being, I would like to believe that bots or AI would never make for a scintillating substitute to a scintillating meeting with another flesh-and-blood human being.

The extended quarantine phase all of us experienced first-hand last year is a case in point. I know of a person who after a point was missing gossiping with colleagues by the water cooler so much that she started addressing herself in third person. She even gave her alter-ego a fancy name and an exotic accent. The scary point was when she created so many of them – that her quarantine mindspace got too crowded for comfort. And I’m not even talking about how her oratory skills suffered (true story, not a confession!).

I would love for you to tell me what you think of the prediction...

Reach me at mshekar@gulfnews.com.

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