“Eureka” shouted the scientist as he completed work on the new super-intelligent computer which controlled an attractive looking robot. A little more work and we can all live like Greek gods, waited on by robots.
In the next lab another scientist was building a time machine and decided he couldn’t wait and used his invention to visit this idyllic Grecian future.
He landed in a wonderful garden where rather bloated but otherwise god-like figures feasted. He discovered they were called Eloi and marvelled at the success of his fellow inventor’s computer. "Surely this must be a living Paradise" he thought.
However at night a robot called a Morlock “harvested” several of the “gods” and rendered them down to make oil to provide electricity to drive the computers. Humans had become no more than a crop to ensure that the ever more powerful computers could be fuelled.
Before he could fly the time machine back to warn his friend of the evil of the all-powerful computer a Morlock had smashed his time transport to pieces and he was trapped in a now inevitable future.
(Apologies to H. G Wells.)
One of the things I like about FutureLearn courses is that they are a way of getting you think "outside the box." The course Environmental Humanities: Remaking Nature includes playing a "Global futures" game which involved being dealt three picture cards and then telling a story with a particular futures theme linking any two of them. If you typed the story in (some people used a video) there was a limit of 1200 characters - which adds to the challenge.
In the above "Global Futures" short story the pictures I got included a statue reminding me of Michael Angelo's David, and a computer and I set out to find a story that brought them together to save (or destroy) civilization as we know it. A story linking a dreamed of future Utopia and rampant technology seemed a possible way forward.
I have added - as comments below - several of the other stories I wrote playing the "Global Futures" game.