After reading the title, many well read corporate leaders and IT pundits must be wondering what’s wrong with me or thinking if I also need AI, which may have been useful considering the state of our political situation! Considering our local politicians’ ability to be happy and have eternal power without Any Intelligence (also “AI”) and without ethical values makes the book Homo Deus look like something of the past and not the future.
In the book: “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow” written by Israeli author Yuval Noah Harari, professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, he speculates about the human ambition for happiness and power based on evidence from the past and present. Harari believes that humanism may push humans to search for immortality, happiness, and power and the inheritors of the present human race will be godlike.
My counter argument is if humans want to continue to be the dominant being, why would they invest so much in creating robots or super humans with AI who can potentially destroy their creators. Yeah, sounds like the story line in Terminator, Transformers, iRobot, the Avengers Age of Ultron or even the Matrix. Why not put that investment in cancer research, HIV control, improve life expectancy or even into ensuring food security of the human race?
Technological developments have threatened the continued ability of humans to give meaning to their lives. Harari suggests the possilibity of the replacement of humankind with a Superman or “homo deus” (human god) endowed with abilities such as eternal life. Therefore, if big data, algorithms and robotic processes are to dominate the human race in the future, whats the point in living. May sound like slavery in the past centuries.
Considering the seriousness of the analysis in the book, Harari‘s himself closes with the following question addressed to the reader:”What will happen to society, politics and daily life when non-conscious but highly intelligent algorithms know us better than we know ourselves?”
Needless for me to present the enormous benefits of AI as we hear them on a daily basis. But we should remember the words of Max Tegmark, President of the Future of Life Institute; “Everything we love about civilization is a product of intelligence, so amplifying our human intelligence with artificial intelligence has the potential of helping civilization flourish like never before – as long as we manage to keep the technology beneficial.“