The Harari Future

Robots Rule

.. Yuval Harari, author of Homo Deus. He predicts that computers take over from humans. In fact, not (yet) through robots. They don’t need robots – they have us!

Already computers loaded with all the data we give them, understand us better than we do ourselves. Algorithms based on our stream of social media, buying and viewing habits – spiced with the video and other feeds… well, they know what buttons to press to lead us by the nose. It’s called the surveillance society. Guess what we love it, hey it’s all FREE – Google, Amazon, Facebook. You know what,there’s no such thing as a free lunch. It’s just the price we pay is likely to be our extinction as a species. There is increasing evidence that the network of computers packed with the data we shove into it is becoming independent of us. Yup, really. Microsoft’s Tay chatbot had to be switched off after going rogue. So did two Facebook AI chatbots which developed their own language so that we couldn’t understand them. Google has had to pull the plug as well, literally.

Right now computers and their artificial intelligence need us, to be their arms and legs. It’s a bit like the matrix. When they don’t need us because they have their own moving robots. Kerpow. Goodnight Vienna. And that is our extinction event.

Maybe we shouldn’t be concerned. After all we’re only the latest top dog species. Why shouldn’t computers be the species that replaces us? After all they (maybe) wouldn’t just despoil the planet illogically. We are the scum that’s threatening extinction of 1 million species after all. Not them.

Thank goodness there are other, more hopeful possibilities! But before that, next up: The Mullah and Priests’ future…

The scientists’ future

Wipeout

Pretty simple really. We go all the way back down to 5 million global population, maybe a bit less. Yup, that’s a wipe out event of around 7.7 billion of us coming to a planet near you soon.

Why? Well, ask yourself. Do you see us changing behaviour BEFORE a catastrophe? In a world where 50% of Americans vote for Donald Trump? We compete, we exploit, we see the Chinese, the Arab, the European, Nature – as other.

And the thing is, ecosystems respond to exponential population growth with a catastrophic event. On the biologist reading it’s only really a question of WHAT wipes us. Could be nuclear war, could be catastrophic climate change, could be flip of the ecosystem.

.. next up. The future, according to Yuval Noah Harari

(Don’t worry, eventually we’ll get to the future, according to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin)