March 2011. Pierre has just landed his first job in an insurance company. He is worried because after interning for three years, he has realised that the human relationships he values so much in this kind of work are being replaced more and more by virtual meetings and contact with telesales operators. On the other hand, Pierre is a fan of virtual worlds, where he finds communities based on solidarity and warm human contact.

July 2016. Pierre is looking at his daily newspaper on the tram. Machines have become so important in everyday life that conflicts between anthropomorphic robots have been known in Asia (they were resolved, thanks to human intervention). There has been a lot of European research on this subject, heralding the successful commercial launch of universal cyberspace service that includes both the “old web” and virtual reality worlds (metaverses). Virtual reality interfaces are henceforth based on direct cerebral stimulation. Free Télécom has even launched a new high bandwidth sensory immersion product.

In October 2021, Pierre is tired. He gets to work late, and when he does arrive, his boss’s avatar is waiting for him: “This is your new colleague.” Pierre looks around him but he can’t see anyone. From his desk, a grey cube says, “Let’s go Pierre, time to get to work.” After 15 years analysing numbers and facts, his fears have been realised. A machine has become his alterego. It’s a digital/biological hybrid with his own DNA. Pierre wonders if these machines will be able to work as hard as men and even totally replace them.

December 2026, and Pierre is very happy with his job; he’s a big fan of this new world where robots are increasingly in charge of things. The discovery of new water energy sources and a change in global environmental awareness have altered geopolitics and the economic system. Mobility and progress have become compatible with the environment. This society is much less free, that’s for sure, but in the final analysis, Pierre thinks it is more satisfactory.