In this smart, original and compelling book, bestselling historian Yuval Noah Harari shares his take on the consequences of humanism and the pursuit of divinity. He suggests a vision of a world in which humans create AI which comes to dominate society. In this future, machines treat people like slaves or animals. More likely, though, they can expect algorithms and AI to exterminate them. In 400 pages, Harari offers only a page or two describing how humankind might avoid this future, and he seems unconvinced that it will. “Homo sapiens” don’t really have free will, he contends, and consciousness is mostly a mirage. People operate more like computers and their programming contains the seeds of their destruction. Harari’s original ideas are thought provoking, but it will take a great leap of faith for most readers to accept his characterization of consciousness as useless and humans as programed automatons, undeserving of freedom or even life once a superior intelligence arrives on the scene, even a superior intelligence of their own devising.
About the Author
Yuval Noah Harari, PhD, lectures on world history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He also wrote the bestseller Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. His books have been translated into more than 50 languages with more than 12 million copies sold worldwide