A Story, A Future: BioDigital Convergence

I wake up to the sunlight and salty coastal air of the Adriatic sea. I don’t live anywhere near the Mediterranean, but my AI, which is also my health advisor, has prescribed a specific air quality, scent, and solar intensity to manage my energy levels in the morning, and has programmed my bedroom to mimic this climate.

The fresh bed sheets grown in my building from regenerating fungi are better than I imagined; I feel rested and ready for the day. I need to check a few things before I get up. I send a brain message to open the app that controls my insulin levels and make sure my pancreas is optimally supported. I can’t imagine having to inject myself with needles like my mother did when she was a child. Now it’s a microbe transplant that auto adjusts and reports on my levels.

Everything looks all right, so I check my brain’s digital interface to read the dream data that was recorded and processed in real time last night. My therapy app analyzes the emotional responses I expressed while I slept. It suggests I take time to be in nature this week to reflect on my recurring trapped-in-a-box dream and enhance helpful subconscious neural activity. My AI recommends a “forest day”. I think “okay”, and my AI and neural implant do the rest.

The summary of my bugbot surveillance footage shows that my apartment was safe from intruders (including other bugbots) last night, but it does notify me that my herd of little cyber-dragonflies are hungry. They’ve been working hard collecting data and monitoring the outside environment all night, but the number of mosquitoes and lyme-carrying ticks they normally hunt to replenish their energy was smaller than expected. With a thought, I order some nutrient support for them.

My feet hit the regenerative carpet and I grab a bathrobe, although I don’t need it for warmth. My apartment is gradually warming up to a comfortable 22 degrees, as it cycles through a constantly shifting daily routine that keeps me in balance with the time of day and season. Building codes and home energy infrastructure are synchronized, and require all homes be autoregulated for efficiency. Because houses and buildings are biomimetic and incorporate living systems for climate control wherever possible, they are continuously filtering the air and capturing carbon. I check my carbon offset measure to see how much credit I will receive for my home’s contribution to the government’s climate change mitigation program.

As I head to the bathroom, I pause at the window to check the accelerated growth of the neighbouring building. Biological architecture has reached new heights and the synthetic tree compounds are growing taller each day. To ensure that the building can withstand even the strongest winds – and to reduce swaying for residences on the top floors – a robotic 3D printer is clambering around the emerging structure and adding carbon-reinforced biopolymer, strengthening critical stress points identified by its AI-supported sensor array. I am glad they decided to tree the roof of this building with fire-resistant, genetically modified red cedar, since urban forest fires have become a concern.

While I’m brushing my teeth, Jamie, my personal AI, asks if I’d like a delivery drone to come pick up my daughter’s baby tooth, which fell out two days ago. The epigenetic markers in children’s teeth have to be analysed and catalogued on our family genetic blockchain in order to qualify for the open health rebate, so I need that done today.

I replace the smart sticker that monitors my blood chemistry, lymphatic system, and organ function in real time. It’s hard to imagine the costs and suffering that people must have endured before personalized preventative medicine became common.

Also, I’ll admit that it sounds gross, but it’s a good thing the municipality samples our fecal matter from the sewage pipes. It’s part of the platform to analyze data on nutritional diversity, gut bacteria, and antibiotic use, to aid with public health screening and fight antibiotic-resistant strains of bacterial infections.

Supposedly, the next download for my smart sink will allow me to choose a personalized biotic mix for my dechlorinated drinking water.

Today’s microbiome breakdown is displayed on the front of my fridge as I enter the kitchen. It’s tracking a steady shift as I approach middle age: today it suggests miso soup as part of my breakfast, because my biome needs more diversity as a result of recent stress and not eating well last night.

The buildings in my neighbourhood share a vertical farm, so I get carbon credits by eating miso made from soybeans produced on my roof and fermented by my fridge.

My fridge schedules the production of more miso and some kimchi in preparation for the coming week. It also adds immune-boosting ingredients to my grocery order because we’re approaching flu season, and a strain that I’m likely to be susceptible to has been detected only a few blocks away.

I take my smart supplement, which just popped out of my bioprinter. The supplement adjusts the additional nutrients and microbes I need, and sends data about my body back to my bioprinter to adjust tomorrow’s supplement. The feedback loop between me and my bioprinter also cloud-stores daily data for future preventive health metrics. The real-time monitoring of my triglycerides is important, given my genetic markers.

As my coffee pours, I check my daughter’s latest school project, which has been growing on the counter for the past week. She’s growing a liver for a local puppy in need as part of her empathy initiative at school. More stem cells are on the way to start a kidney too, because she wants to help more animals. I grab my coffee, brewed with a new certified carbon-negative bean variety, and sit on the couch for a minute.

It appears the nutrient treatment I had painted on the surface of the couch and chairs has allowed them to rejuvenate. I’ll have to try the treatment on my bioprinted running shoes, as they’re starting to wear out.

Oh wow – is that the time? I have only 10 minutes before my first virtual meeting. I tighten the belt on my skeleto-muscular strength chair, lean back, and log into my workspace. First I get the debrief from colleagues finishing their work day on the other side of the world. I shiver momentarily as I think about how intimately we’re all connected in this digital biosphere – then it passes. Let the day begin.


This story may sound far-fetched, however all the technologies mentioned exist in some form today. While they are not yet commercially available in the form presented here, a world where we take the interaction between biological and digital technologies for granted is already starting to emerge.

While this is a representation of technologies that could be part of a biodigital world, it does not represent the only plausible future. Rather, it is an imaginative vignette outlining the radical shifts that could take place within an optimistic biodigital future. Varying levels of access, adoption, and alternative realities could exist.

From the Policy Horizons report on the implications of these technologies.

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