The Future of Humanity – with Yuval Noah Harari


so thank you [very] much for this introduction and especially for Presenting the book not as a book of futurology Because um for me something very important to make everybody Understand if they’re going to go and read this book But it’s definitely not a book of prophecies about the future. It’s rather tries to map Different possibilities that might or might not be realized. We still have some agency regarding that Writing a book of prophecies. I think is an is a sterile exercise if it becomes through or doesn’t doesn’t matter [I] mean, you can’t do anything about it. It’s much more interesting It’s much more vital to write about different possibilities And if you don’t like some of these possibilities, then do something about it – try to prevent the worst possibilities from being realised and What I want to discuss [today] is one particularly important possibilities the possibility that we are now facing which is the rise of artificial intelligence and [the] potential that artificial intelligence will become the dominant life-form on Earth and even Beyond the Earth and what would that mean for Homo Sapiens and In order to understand this we need To maybe go a step backward and take the really long view not just of history But actually of biology not just of the history of man But really of the history of life because what’s happening? Now is maybe not just the most important revolution in Human history, but the most important revolution in biology since the beginning of life at least on Earth For the last [four] billion years of Earth, – sorry of life Nothing much changed about the fundamental laws of life all life forms for four billion years evolved by natural selection and all life-forms Were restricted to the organic realm It doesn’t matter if you’re an amoeba or a giraffe or a tomato or a homo sapiens You’re made of organic compounds [and] your subjects -you’re subject to organic biochemistry This is now changing we are on the verge not only of replacing natural selection with intelligent design not the intelligent design of some God our intelligent design [as] the [principle] motor of the evolution of life we are also on the verge of Allowing life [to] break out for the first time from the organic realm into the Inorganic and creating the first inorganic life forms after [four] billion years of evolution which also implies that life will for the first time have a serious chance of breaking out of [Planet] Earth and beginning to spread in the rest of the Galaxy in the rest of the universe Organic Life Have been adapted to the very unique conditions of this planet for [four] billion years So despite what you see on star [Trek]. Which is just now celebrating 50 years It’s extremely difficult to sustain organic life in outer space on other planets Which is why it’s very unlikely that organic life will be able to spread and to flourish Outside Earth, but once you switch from organic to Inorganic it becomes much easier So we are really on the verge of these two intertwined revolution moving from the organic to the Inorganic and moving from Planet Earth Actually to the rest of the universe to the rest of the Galaxy but Coming back from the level of the Galaxy to the level of Day-To-day politics. What is- what will this [mean] for Ordinary human beings, for society, for the job market, [for] the political system I don’t have time to cover all the different scenarios and possibilities. I want to focus on one important issue, which is what it will do to the job market and what it will do to the economic [ah] importance and power of Ordinary Humans in the next few decades because this is a very practical question [ah] kids in the uk have just started the school the school year this week and The question is what do they need to [learn] so that they will still be relevant? They will still have a job when they are thirty or forty this is it’s this kind of question which I think Brings down the idea of Artificial intelligence From the cloud and the Galaxy to the level of Society and economics and politics [and] one of the big dangers which more and more experts are talking about is that in the next few decades [not] in thousands of years, but within the lifetime of many of the people here in the room Artificial [intelligence] will push humans out of [the] job market and in the same way that the industrial revolution of the 19th century Created [a] new massive class the Urban working class the proletariat So in the 21st century a new industrial revolution Will create a new massive class the useless class People who have no economic usefulness because Ai artificial intelligence Outperforms them in almost all tasks and old jobs people who are not just unemployed They are unemployable there is no other with no jobs. No jobs to give these people so to start with a simple example [Ten] years ago. It was relatively accepted wisdom that our Computers and artificial intelligence will never be able to drive cars and vehicles Better than humans maybe in a laboratory under sterile conditions a computer could drive a car But not in real-life situations [in] a real city like London Today more and more experts are coming to the opposite Conclusion to the opposite view but it’s only a question of time and not a very long time maybe in 10 20 30 years humans will not drive vehicles at all because Ai will be so much better at Driving taxis and buses and trucks and so Forth than human beings They will not only drive it more efficiently and more [cheaply] with less pollution But most importantly a I will drive far more safely than homo Sapiens the Newman drivers today in the World every Year 1.3 million people die each year from car accidents Around the world this is about twice as many death as the death caused by war Crime and Terrorism put together and most of these 1.3 million people are killed as a result of human mistakes of human errors or negligence. It’s cases like people falling asleep while driving Cases like people drinking alcohol And then driving people ignoring traffic lights people ignoring the stop sign people driving too fast Inside [a] city things like that This is the major reason for these more than 1 million deaths every year if you replace Humans by Ai most of these errors will disappear will be prevented and self-driving car a computer will never drink alcohol and then drive a Self-driving car will never fall asleep while driving if you program it Correctly or or if this is how you program it. It will never Disobey the traffic laws It will always stop at a stop sign it will always stop at a red sign even more importantly from the Viewpoint of safety um Today each car is an individual unit when two cars are approaching an intersection Each car sometimes tries to signal its intention the driver is trying to signal his or her Intentions, but the two cars are really independent entities. Which is why sometimes they collide? however if you uhh prevent humans from driving and all the vehicles on the Road I’ll sell our autonomous and they are driven by computers by Ai Then the logical and possible thing to do is to connect all of them one to the others, so there are no longer independent vehicles on the Road But all vehicles are connected to a single network to a single Master algorithm Which is far less likely to allow two of its puppets to collide [so] from this perspective, it’s quite likely. It’s not, it’s not a profit It’s not certain all kinds of things may prevent it from happening But there is a good chance that in say 10 20 30 years Humans all Human drivers, or most human drivers will be replaced by AI and Which we shall have enormous good consequences, but which also means that millions of jobs will disappear [the] same thing may happen with many many other professions. I’ll just I don’t have a lot of time, so I’ll give [just] one example What might happen to doctors? most doctors what they do most of the time is to try to diagnose a my disease and then offer the best treatment possible Which is something I’m very aware of right now because I’m a bit under the weather I drove to Manchester yesterday and got a cold on the way I think it’s a cold. I’m not sure I feel a bit dizzy. I feel a bit something in the throat [I] think [it’s] a cold. [I] can’t go and ask my doctor because my doctor is back in Israel And even if I could even even if I was right now in Israel It’s not so simple to go to the doctor. It takes time. I need to make an appointment She’s not always available and even if I make an [appointment] for tomorrow morning So I have to leave my work and drive to the clinic I then wait [in] the reception room for 10 minutes or 20 minutes or 30 [minutes] And then finally I get [to] see the doctor, and I don’t know how it is with the NHS in the uk But in israel my insurance pays for very short visits. Maybe five or [ten] minutes That’s all that my doctor usually has for me during these five or ten minutes when she tries to Diagnose my disease so she would ask me three four questions about how I’m feeling. [do] you have [a] headache? Do you feel dizzy something like that? She may do one or two simple physical tests. She may ask me to say ahh and look into my throat She may take out a stethoscope and listen to my lungs or my heart. She may measure my heartbeat or my blood pressure She also knows something about my medical history because she’s my personal physician, but obviously she can’t remember Every illness I ever had and every blood test and DNA scan I are ever made she may look it up on the computer [but] again, she doesn’t have much time so She takes these few bits of Data About my present and past medical condition and now in order to diagnose my disease She needs to compare that with all the different diseases in the world could be cold could be Influenza could be uhh breast cancer all kinds of things that might have these symptoms and obviously even the best doctor in the world she can’t really be familiar with all the different medical conditions and all the different diseases in the world and even if And she obviously also she can’t be updated every day about all the latest medical Researchers and articles and tests and drugs and so forth [so] both types of data What she knows about me? And what she knows about all the diseases and medical conditions in the world both are very limited in addition My doctor is sometimes Sick herself, she is sometimes irritated, she is sometimes hungry She is sometimes tired so she isn’t always at her peak of her performance when she comes to diagnose my disease now compare that to AI doctors artificial intelligence doctors that are already being developed as we speak the most famous Example, but not the only example is IBM’s Watson Watson has immense advantages compared to my Flesh-And-blood physician first of all Watson] can be everywhere all [the] [time] on my smartphone? Even if I go to give the talk here in London, [I] can take my personal physician with me on the smartphone It accompanies me 24 hours a day, 365 days a year It has all the time in the world for me If I want I can sit [on] my living room sofa and [just] answer questions about my health for hours and hours on end and do all kinds of tests in fact Watson doesn’t need to wait until I ask until I come towards and I say hey something is wrong What’s wrong with me? Watson will be able to monitor my medical condition [all] the [time] using biometric sensors on my body and inside my body So when something just starts it will know about it much month before I know that something is wrong, and it can try to do something about it to start a treatment even without my [mind] knowing it In addition Watson has no limit at all or almost no Limitations on the amount of Data it can access and process Watson will be able instantly to know my entire medical history Every illness I ever had every blood test or every DNA test I ever did in addition, Watson will be able to [access] Such data about my parents and siblings and neighbors and friends and then strangers the other side of the equation What about all the diseases in the world here [too] Watson has immense advantages [over] a flesh-and-blood doctors Watson will be able to a large extent to be familiar with All the different diseases in the world and with all the newest, latest medical research about disease, about drugs, about these treatments, that treatment so from this perspective It’s very likely that Watson will be able to diagnose disease and to offer treatment Far far better than any human [doctor] Now when people hear this they very often say okay? Maybe Watson will be better in diagnosing disease. But there is one thing one other thing that we usually Hope human doctors will do and that Watson will not be able to do and this is offer emotional support. A human [doctor] is not some machine some cold [machine] that just diagnoses this disease and says take this pill, a good doctor is also very attentive to my emotional condition and it not just treats my physical difficulties it also gives me the proper emotional support that in many cases is a vital part of of confronting any kind of disease or medical condition however This criticism fails to [to] know to notice that emotions at least according to Modern science, Emotions are not some spiritual thing that God gave humans in order to appreciate poetry emotions are a biochemical Phenomenon that not only homo Sapiens serve all mammals all birds and many many other animals have emotions [they’re] a biochemical phenomena in this sense emotions are like disease. [they] are both biochemical phenomena And therefore it is extremely [likely] that Watson will be able to diagnose my emotional condition Just as it diagnoses my illnesses and my medical problems if I go to my become a human doctor How does my human doctor know my emotional condition she relies on two kinds of signals? External signals that I’m giving she relies basic On visual sing signals like my facial expression or my body movement my body language and she relies on audio our signals audio cues she listens to what I say Not just the contents, but even more importantly the tone [of] voice [so] [if] I sit in her office, she looks at my [face] she listens to my [words] And this is how she knows if I’m angry if I’m fearful or whatever What [son] will be able to do all that? Computers are already outperforming humans in A Diagnosing correctly analyzing correctly facial expressions and tone of voice in order to recognize emotions But much more importantly an AI like Watson will have access To another and even better source of data about my emotions data coming from within my body When my [doctor] looked at a man I sit in her office, and she looks at me She sees my face, but she can’t see my brain and she can’t see my heart and she can’t see what’s happening inside me Watson will be able to access biometric Data coming from the brain coming from the heart coming from the bloodstream and therefore is likely to be able to diagnose my emotional condition far far better than any human [doctor] Now ah there are still problems some technical problems and also legal problems that prevent Watson and things like Watson from replacing most doctors tomorrow morning – May take five years Ten Years [twenty] [years] But what we need to realize that? We need to solve these technical problems Just once just once [in] the case of Human doctors or Flesh-And-blood doctors In order to get to get a doctor You need to take a person and then you need ten years at least ten years of going to medical school and doing all kinds of studying and Experimenting and experiencing in order after ten years and a huge investment in time and money and energy At the end of this process you get one doctor if you want another doctor you have to start all over again [and] invest all this time all this energy all this money again. Which is why in many? Countries around the world there is an acute shortage of doctors With Watson with an AI doctor you just have to do it once Even [if] it costs a hundred billion dollars to solve the technical Problems that still prevent Watson from replacing my human doctor if you invest These hundred billion dollars and solve the problems what you get is not one doctor You get an infinite number of doctors? Available everywhere all the time for everybody even somebody in the middle of the jungle can have a personal physician Only Smartphone or her smartphone which provides far better? medical care than almost any doctor alive today So the Potential is really is really immense Which is why again more and more experts believe that not all doctors? But many doctors maybe 50 60 80 [%] of doctors will be replaced by AI are within 10 20 30 years and The same thing may happen to many other professions lawyers, teachers Insurance agents and so forth um When people hear about this possibility again one of the most common objections is to say we’ve heard it before We’ve heard it before this fear of machines replacing humans it’s not, it’s not new [A] Lot of people in the 19th and 20th century were afraid that as machines replace humans in agriculture and then in industry you’ll have this massive unemployment and massive crisis with all the useless people and It didn’t happen because as new jobs disappeared, Sorry as old jobs disappeared new jobs appeared to replace them So we don’t have a crisis today of mass unemployment What happened? Is that most people [in] advanced societies stopped working in agricultural industry today in a country like the uk or the USA about [2%] of the Workforce are employed in agriculture Compared to more than 90 percent before the industrial revolution [maybe] 15 percent 20 percent still work in industry physical jobs, the vast majority are working in services But the problem is we cannot be sure that the same thing will happen again with this new revolution Because humans have basically two kinds of abilities They have physical abilities and they have mental and cognitive abilities What happened in the 90s and 20th century is [that] machines? competed and Outperformed humans in Physical abilities so humans mostly moved to working in jobs that require mental and cognitive abilities like the services sector now machines are starting to compete with us and outperform us also in mental and cognitive abilities And we just don’t know about any third kind of ability [that] humans may have and that everybody could move to work in that [field] we just not know about it Another problem is that even if new jobs appear The pace of change is so quick that Humans will have to reinvent themselves again and again during their lifetime which is something [that] is very very difficult Beyond a certain age when you are 15 of your 20 the main thing you do in life is basically to Invent yourself or to reinvent yourself and even then It’s not very easy, but when you’re 40 or 50 It’s much much more difficult and let’s say that in 20 years There are no jobs for taxi drivers and doctors and insurance agents, and they have to reinvent themselves as let’s say designers of virtual worlds Now this is something very difficult for [a] 50 year old taxi driver or a 50 year old insurance agent to Invent himself or herself again as a completely new [kind] of person now I am the creator of virtual worlds. How does a virtual world created by a 50 year old insurance agent look like um it’s it’s a very difficult question and It goes back to what I started with which is what to teach children Today at school and the answer is that nobody has a clue [I] mean children who today start the first with this first week of school first grade Nobody knows what the job [market] would be like when these kids are 30 or 40 It’s very likely that almost everything they learn at school will be completely irrelevant But what to teach them instead nobody knows because we just don’t know what kind of job market we’ll have in 2050 and what kind of skills uhh people will need in these kinds of so Far unknown jobs so um As I said just as the 19th century created this new massive class the Urban working class and much of the political and social history of the 90s and 20th century Revolved around this new class the working class similarly in the 21st century we may see the creation the rise of a [new] massive class the useless class and much [of] the social and political and economic history of the 21st century will revolve around that class and around the question what to do with billions and billions of economically useless people and Because they are economically useless the danger is also that they will be politically powerless because usually Economic usefulness goes hand in [hand] with political with political power and as humans lose Their economic usefulness they may also lose their political power [and] to give just one simple example when you have all these millions of taxi drivers and truck drivers and bus drivers each of them commands a small share [of] the Transportation market and this gives them not only a certain amount of Economic wealth it goes who gives them a certain amount [of] political power they can unionise and if the government Pursues a policy which all these taxi drivers or truck drivers don’t like they can go and strike So they have also some political power now if you replace all these drivers with driverless cars, which are basically managed by a single algorithm, which is owned by a single corporation which is owned by a handful of billionaires So all the economic and [political] power that was previously shared between millions of drivers is now being monopolised by maybe five or ten individuals As I said in the beginning, this is not a prophecy Nobody really knows how the job market, how the economy, how the political system would look like in 2050 if you don’t like this particular possibility you can still do something about it. Thank you

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