The Future

Vacation, Yinka Shonibare. Born UK 1962. Installation; Dutch batik textile and glass helmets. Gift of the Contemporary Art Acquisitions Committee of American Friends of the Israel Museum, New York

Thinkers have always gazed into the future, and history is replete with groundbreaking scientists who revolutionized the world. At this very moment, innovators from various disciplines — scientists, programmers, entrepreneurs — are busy engineering our future, using cutting-edge tools such as nano- and bio-technology, cloning, synthetic biology, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality. Social and economic institutions as we know them are about to change. The digital generation, part of a growing global phenomenon, is "connected" to its smartphones and developing new ways of thinking, interacting, working, and socializing.

Genetic engineering and technology are progressing at breakneck speed — but are they a double-edged sword? Will the yearning for eternal life and an enhanced memory affect the evolution of the human species? Can the ability to clone animals and plants, make physiological changes in our bodies, and revive extinct species usher in a better world?

When we become able to create a more intelligent species, society will have to set the limits. Will our own creative power, like the legendary golem, spell doom or redemption for humankind?