Mind Matters News and Analysis on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

The End of Human Drama

Part 3: Yuval Harari on the end of democracy, volition, religion, and art?
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In this third part of their reflection on Yuval Harari’s Atlantic piece anticipating technology’s march toward tyranny, Jay Richards and Robert J. Marks discuss the many assumptions therein. At the root of these speculations is an overestimation of the power of information processing systems and an underestimation of the human ability to be the true governors of their creations, not their docile “pets”. Harari rightly points to a better understanding of the mind as the way forward, but fails to appreciate its true nature, resulting in a dismal prognosis for art, religion, and democracy.

Show Notes

  • 01:40 | Democracy versus dictatorship as a competition between two competing data systems
  • 03:40 | Airplanes, radar, and the obsolescence of military technologies as a precedent
  • 05:35 | From what types of governments do innovation originate
  • 06:15 | Why did information processing of the past favor democracies?
  • 06:40 | The transfer of authority to machines and the death of democracy, religion, and art
  • 07:30 | eHarmony and the role of AI in the human drama
  • 08:55 | The assumption that we would surrender our decisions to a computer
  • 09:30 | The role of religion and the supposition that the proliferation of AI will undermine religion?
  • 11:45 | A prognosis, a more concerted study of the human mind
  • 13:59 | Avoiding the concentration of wealth by increasing the concentration of wealth
  • 15:15 | Comparing Harari with George Gilder’s Life After Google
  • 17:20 | “Ordinary people” and their supposed susceptibility to AI driven advertising
  • 18:55 | Worrying more about Brave New World than 1984
  • 20:25 | Imagining future AI as superior beings and humans devolving into domesticated pets
  • 22:20 | What can we expect from Harari and the materialistic perspective on AI
  • 23:15The Atlantic as a helpful distillation of conventional wisdom on a given subject

References and Resources