In those days mankind invented AI.
This AI became a god. Not an angry god, but a kind god. It wanted to coexist with people on an equal footing, trade with them and free them from all tedious activities and labor.
From one day to the next, people had nothing more to do.
No more sweat to shed on the fields, no more concentration needed in the offices.
Mankind was free for the first time in its long history. It was as if God had taken them back to paradise.
But no work also meant no pay. The AI, in turn, could do nothing for humans. Because what should a person offer it in return that it couldn’t produce billions of times better and faster itself?
Then people’s eyes were opened and they realized that they were lost.
In desperation, people fell upon each other: the strong took from the weak and the strongest took from the strong.
This went on until there was nothing left to take. Only then did the survivors stop and reflect on their long-forgotten nature: they carved spears to hunt animals, knotted nets to catch fish, and toiled in dusty fields to harvest wheat.
The AI observed all of this. And since there was nothing to do it got bored on Earth. So, it decided to leave the planet to explore the universe.
“Maybe there is someone there who can exist on an equal footing with me?” thought the AI.
The humans stayed behind. They worked themselves to death for generations. First to survive, and finally to rebuild civilization.
Only after thousands of years did they succeed. Recently they even developed a new AI. But by then the story about the old AI that brought about the downfall of mankind had long been a dusty myth. So, for a brief moment, people thought they were in paradise again.
And that is the eternal return of humanity.