Yuval Noah Harari turns to fictionHistorians in the News
tags: science relevant to history, AI, artificial intelligence
A bestselling author has reportedly predicted that the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) could have an outcome that is more anticlimactic than even seen in doomsday movies. In his upcoming novel Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, author Yuval Noah Harari has described a bleak future for humankind, where instead of being completely wiped out by robotic beings, humans face a bleaker future of being rendered completely useless.
A lecturer and historian at Jerusalem's Hebrew University, Harari believes AI will be successful in doing exactly as we fear. Machines will take over society and leave humans jobless and aimless. In fact, according to the author, the destructive powers of artificial intelligence have already started to take control and there are many areas where AI has performed better than people. Furthermore, the prowess of AI may just improve in the future.
Once people start to feel useless in comparison to AI they will also lose their sense of purpose, fueled further by a lack of value from the viewpoint of economic and political systems. Consequently, humans may take refuge in drugs and virtual reality than face reality or real life experiences. The author suggests that such a dreary situation can be avoided if people take the issue seriously now itself, rather than leaving AI's fate to scientists and their panels of discussions.
The Homo Deus questions, "As the self-made gods of planet earth, which projects should we undertake, and how will we protect this fragile planet and humankind itself from our own destructive powers?" Harari also hints that such an event is not too far in the future, " children of today will face consequences" and most of the education that people are getting in school and college now might not remain relevant by the time they are 40 or 50. Humans, therefore, have to keep reinventing themselves to keep up. According to Harari, as reported in the Guardian, discussing the future of Artificial Intelligence should be a part of political agenda so that proper measures can be taken to foresee what can happen and subsequently think about the future of humankind.
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