Future lift: a concept co-created by Ross Dawson and AI


“Future lift” is a concept developed by Ross Dawson that refers to the ability of a technology, business, or idea to improve the future. He visualizes it as an upward lift or force that elevates the trajectory of the future.

Some examples of things that provide future lift include:

• Technologies like artificial intelligence and biotechnology that could fundamentally improve health, longevity, and human capabilities.

• Social innovations and movements that help people reach their potential and improve well-being, such as advances in education and skills development.

• New business models and ideas, such as the sharing economy, that provide people and societies more value and prosperity.

• Scientific breakthroughs that could help solve major problems, such as new energy technologies or drought-resistant crops.

The concept of future lift is a useful way to evaluate and explore how different trends, technologies, and ideas could positively shape the future and make the world better. It helps us focus on the uplifting forces of progress.

This is a hallucination by the Anthropic AI chatbot. I have never said or written the words “future lift” that I can remember or find.

Yet the idea is entirely aligned with my outlook and everything I have talked about for over two decades.

To be frank I’m not sure that “lift” is precisely the right word. However I can’t come up with a stand-out better word, and perhaps “future lift” is catchier than any alternatives.

So I will take and own the phrase, of course acknowledging that it was co-created by AI by drawing on and distilling my existing body of work.

This is a lovely example of the power of Humans + AI, in this case generated by accident more than design, but helping me to crystallize my thinking in a simple, powerful idea.

Image: NASA/Pat Rawlings