Looking into the future is always a risky endeavour, but one way to anticipate the
possible future shape of AI-driven societies is to examine the visionary works of some sci-fi
writers. Not all sci-fi works have such visionary quality, of course, but some of Stanisław Lem’s
works certainly do. We refer here to Lem’s works that explore the frontiers of science and
technology and those that describe imaginary societies of robots. We therefore examine Lem’s
prose, with a focus on the Cyberiad stories, to see what challenges our future technological
societies may face when they entrust their lives to AI technology. For example, what questions
should we ask, and what questions do we forget to ask, when developing AI systems and allowing these systems to control our lives. The technologically honed minds of our current technocrats are perhaps too limited to guide us into this future, because AI-based technology is relatively unchartered territory, as any new, complex technology is by nature. Lem’s visions of future societies oriented around AI and robotics portray AI technology in a deeper and more nuanced way than the current technological visions offered by our leading technological prophets. Based on Lem’s visions, what is to come may not turn out to be an AI-driven nirvana.