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No chip? No job.

Augmented humans only need apply
Dateline: 13 August 2033

Natural humans are at a decided disadvantage these days. Not only are we competing with robots and smart computer systems – no one talks about “artificial intelligence” anymore – but we also have to hold our own against people who have had an ‘upgrade’; augmented human beings.

Not that this comes as a surprise. For more than 30 years we saw efforts to treat all people equally gain some traction, but we all knew that you had a better chance if you were brainy, talented, beautiful, or super strong. Nobody complained if you studied hard to get ahead, but somehow getting plastic surgery to make yourself more hireable was frowned upon.

Then came pandemic waves and virus variants; suddenly there was all sorts of discrimination, based on your origins and lifestyle, as well as medical history. You had to be vaxxed if you wanted to travel or work at big companies, and it mattered which vaccine you’d had, among other things.

But the same biotech that saved us from viruses also gave us the opportunity to enhance our physical and cognitive abilities, without going the whole electro-mechanical bionic route. Just a little genetic juggling and a tiny implant or two, and hey presto! You can be stronger, fitter, and of course much smarter than the average Joe or Jane.

And that’s where it gets tricky, because now you can buy your smarts, and that’s not fair. Or is it? In the past, wealthy people had a decided advantage growing up; access to the best nutrition, education and healthcare usually meant better life outcomes. But you still had to work at it. Now you just visit a ‘body shop’ and get an upgrade. All you need is cash.

So ask yourself: What do you look for in a new hire; augmented ability, or natural talent?

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Warning: Hazardous Thinking at Work

Despite appearances to the contrary, Futureworld cannot and does not predict the future. Our Mindbullets scenarios are fictitious and designed purely to explore possible futures, challenge and stimulate strategic thinking. Use these at your own risk. Any reference to actual people, entities or events is entirely allegorical. Copyright Futureworld International Limited. Reproduction or distribution permitted only with recognition of Copyright and the inclusion of this disclaimer. © Public domain image.

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