My usual first tool of analysis is competition and selection.
To predict what rich creatures do, you need to know what they want. To predict what poor creatures do, you just need to know what they need to do to survive.
Looking back through history it is clear that humanity has not been driving the train. There has been this train of progress or change and it has been a big fast train, especially lately, and it is making enormous changes all through the world but it is not what we would choose if we sat down and discussed it or voted. We just don’t have a process for doing that.
Whatever processes that changed things in the past will continue. So I can use those processes to predict what will happen. I am assuming we will continue to have a world with many actions being taken for local reasons as they previously were. But that’s a way to challenge my Age of Em hypothesis: you can say no, we will between now and then acquire an ability to foresee the consequences of such changes and to talk together and to vote together on do we want it, and we will have the ability to implement such choices and that will be a change in the future that will prevent the Age of Em.