Another possible Future: The World of Empty Palaces.
Note: All scenarios for the future development of human population on our planet are strongly dependent on the rate advanced atomically precise technology develops.
Questions - Delibeartely without answer.
Today it is known with certainty that countries with high levels of wealth exhibit population decline. Advanced atomically precise technology if reached:
- will not only raise standards of living tremendously (opportunities) but also
- will undermine the scissor in wealth between countries (self replication)
as open source software already does - albeit in a much much more minute way. (But even beforehand technology might do so a bit - e.g. the coming global internet access allows follower countries to skip steps in their path of technological development)
If the first part of the way goes well:
- Question: How far will world population grow before it starts to shrink?
- Question: How long will it take till the wealth scissor closes far enough such that dangerous situations (potentially destabilizing) like conflicts and permanent mass migrations subside?
The automation of various working areas must be somehow balanced with the with the cessation of manpower.
- Question: Will rapidly shrinking manpower keep (despite automation) generating enough harshness of living to prevent massive population decline.
- Question: Or will there be a point where we become so view that we run into the danger of getting extinct merely through too much wealth?
A little more out there:
- Question: What will be the influence of future space-travel on human population? There's probably no meaningful way to find out yet. (Does it even matter now?)
That are all questions who’s answer only time will tell.
[Todo: Describe more of the effects of the main charateristics of AP Technology on human wealth health and population.]
Philosophical implications - the second part of the way
Population decline can lead to the alternative interpretation of the "doomsday argument" (leave to wikipedia) that we are not born far in the future because there are view/no humans since we got (almost)extinct through wealth - leaving only a few long lived artificial successors behind - if they can be counted (unknown degree of mental meshing).
- Do we want to replace ourselves with artificial beings with incalculable lifespans? In any case it looks like we are moving there.
- Can artificial beings be counted to the human population or are they missing "something". In other words what would make them distinct from beings that only act as they would have feelings but are not conciously experiencing anything (p-zombies) (leave to wikipedia). See: Transhumanism
Note that there's a safe point in technological development. See: (disaster proof). There are good chances for major decimations of human population by some catastrophe before we reach APT.