“In future robots will take your employment and artificial intelligence will hack your brain – and this future is not too far”, The famous historian and author Yuval Noah Harari says so in his new book, “21 Lessons for the 21st Century.”
But why would you believe him? Because he has created his whole career, read history, researches people. The professor of this history of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has already written three or three international bestseller books, only about people. He shook the world in his first book ‘Sapiens’, writing human history in simple language, in his next book ‘Homo Deus’ he wrote about our future, and his book is talking about what is happening now and what is it for us today What does it mean?
According to him, the innovation and artificial intelligence of technology is moving so fast that we have no idea about the long-term outcome. (15 years ago Facebook had nothing to say, that Facebook has now directly impacted the democratic elections in the world’s most powerful country, the historic revolution like the Arab Spring, think of it, where the effect of Facebook can reach 15 years later.) He says, In the face of automation, we will lose our current job once. After that there is no job, automation will take away that job once. Once upon a time the algorithm will completely control our lives, our own personality or entity will be lost.
image source: medium.com
What skills needed in the face of these threats? Needed mental flexibility and refinement, in which we can discover new ones every decade. Need to know yourself as such that technology can not take full control of us.
Yuval Noah Harari spoke with ‘GQ’ magazine in an interview.
You say in your article, the only sure thing in the world about the future uncertain. How can this uncertainty affect us?
If you are not too old, it is very likely that in the next decade you will have to discover again and again, change the profession several times.
Many people think that the world will change once, the big revolution will be there at a certain time. Suppose, that’s 2025, where we’ll see robots take 60% of our jobs. After a few years we will have to do a little bit of trouble, and then we will start seeing new jobs, once the economy is in a new kind of equilibrium.
But the biggest problem of this thought is that it is assumed that artificial intelligence will reach its maximum power of 2025. Still, that change can not be considered. Yes, we will see many changes in 2025, but the change in 2035 will be bigger than that, 2045 is also from that, and people have to coordinate themselves with each of these changes.
What steps have you taken to deal with this?
From our personal level, our ability to handle such problems is very limited. If you are very wealthy, then you have many resources to keep yourself free from the effects of these problems, there is wealth. But common people actually need a lot of help in this case. I think the most important thing is that there is enough emotional intelligence and psychological balance because the most difficult challenges are to be psychological.
image source: phys.org
If you get a new job, or the government will support you, you still have enough mental strength to face such changes while losing jobs to robots. Adolescence or adolescence has the ability to adapt to change. But after a certain age, that is, when you are 40 or 50 years old, but the change will be very painful for you. If you have the mental strength at this time, then you can get 30, 40 or 50 years of age to face a new world every time. Now the greatest asset of human being is not a particular skill, it is much more important to be comfortable than computer coding or to be more flexible in the Mandarin language and to make it easier to change the personality.
But how can such a person create a psychology?
I meditate, do calamities (a kind of intellectual meditation). I meditate every day for two hours. I often go to solitude for calmness, for every 60 days, I get caught for it. This matter works for me. But working for me will work for everyone, it is not the case. Each process will be effective for each individual. Some take therapies, someone focuses on art, some play in sports It may be that you hiked in the mountain for a week and it seems that your mind has been very flexible since it was ever since. So this matter is completely individual, I do not think there is a universal answer here.
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But we must always be clear about their main objective – we are trying to know ourselves better and try to achieve emotional flexibility. It should not be a hobby of us, but as one of the main functions of life. This skill will be the biggest tool for you in the coming decades.
If I do not give a practical example here, then it can be heard very much theoretical to hear these words. Suppose you work in a bank and have developed a very successful career you already have. But after 10 years from now on, you see artificial intelligence in your work has become more rigorous than you. You used to calculate the stock exchange’s account, but the algorithm can still make that account less accurate and it does not have to pay any money. So you lost your job to artificial intelligence. If you go to any other job, you have to learn a lot in the past 10 years and forget about all that you have achieved. Not just skillfully, you have to go back and forth from many other aspects. It can also stand that what you have learned and did not give up, you have to change the idea that you have yourself. You no longer know what you really are, what is your identity in society? So to address these changes you need a lot of emotional flexibility and emotional intelligence.
How has your work changed your relationship with technology?
I do not use any smartphones. My attention is always one of my biggest assets to me and the smartphone is always looking to take that focus away from my own control. There is always something new coming in there.
When I use the technology to use this purpose I am correcting myself or always have the problem that the technology is just fixing. Technology but often justifies what we’re using him for. Suppose you have a little retirement, YouTube is open, after two hours you will still be seen on YouTube, watching funny videos or car accidents or something like that. You have never decided that you will spend the next two hours watching these videos, the technology has made that decision for you. They caught your attention so well that you did not get it.
How has keeping your mind free from this attention-grabbing technology changed your lifestyle?
I have a lot of time in my life. And that time is also peaceful. Actually it’s not a secret. Technology can not concentrate on any peaceful emotions, they will do this by making you excite, by fearing fear, hatred or anger, or by refueling your greed. Suppose someone is afraid or hated by the immigrants, the technology algorithm will continue to show one video after all on the negative side of the immigrants. Again, suppose someone does not like President Trump, they will watch the bad video of Trump’s hours after technology and his anger will continue to grow, and it will continue to grow. And these are not the stories that seem to be true – if one sees the headline “President Trump says the world is flat”, they will click on that news or video.
This is bound to take away your attention, because it’s your weakness as a man. But if you lose sight of your weakness and spend hours watching it or after hours, you are actually making yourself angry and hated. And this is more alarming when most of the videos you are watching or reading the news are not true. But this is the reality, many of the news that you get through social media are not true, fabricated. But you’ve only been hated and angry for only a few hours.
It is similar to greed. If you want a lot, an Alishan home or a nice car, you will see videos made with them and want them more. But since you will not be there, the inferiority towards yourself is growing so much that you do not have such a house, there are no such cars. So it can be seen that you have increased your greed for a while by sitting in front of a computer, which is not good for you.
You know yourself as well as you can keep yourself safe from this vicious clutter of technology. If you know what weaknesses you have, what covetousness, this anger of hatred must be relatively low in greed. For the sake of Alcoholic or Smokers, such as the first step to get rid of nessum is to admit to myself that “I am smoker or alcoholic and it is bad for me”, so much so.
Then where do you get the news?
I rarely follow the daily news. I rather read big books with their favorite places. Reading about 100 small news about the Chinese economy, I think it’s better to read a great book written about Chinese economics from the beginning to the end. In that case, I might miss many small details of daily news, but I am not a politician nor a journalist, so missing so much does not seem like a big problem to me.
But why do you think we are so unable to change ourselves? Recalling a question about the recent New York Times Magazine published with Global Warming, I remember. In 1980 we knew that the world will come here in this situation, but we did not take any action, we are suffering today. To me, the present time seems to be very similar, we know that technology or artificial intelligence will bring many problems for us, yet we can not stop ourselves from it.
One reason is a lot of positive prospects hiding between artificial intelligence. If the whole thing would have been bad, then research on it would not have so much billions of dollars in investment. The fact is, artificial intelligence can bring us unemployed, unnecessarily, and bring many more convenient things.
For example, let’s talk about self driving cars. This matter can save lives of millions of people every year. Currently, more than a million people die in road accidents every year, and almost all of them are not due to human error, that false artificial intelligence will not. So this is a great opportunity to save lives, this is a nice one. But to do this, you have to hack your manners and emotions. The algorithm can easily be able to turn ninety degrees on the street, it is not so difficult. But if a child jump suddenly in front of a car to catch a ball, in which case will the child save an algorithm?
So to make self-driving car ideas realistic, we need to create a car that can understand a child’s feelings and thoughts. That is to say, the behavior of people, the pattern of his actions, to be hacked, is not it? Social media is currently an example of this technology, where they can hack our emotions for hours and keep them in front of them. So, the technology that is taking our attention away from our lives is unhappiness, the technology that can save millions of lives a year. So it is not easy to say that “only problem will come”.
Yes, there are two backs of the coin. Well, is there any way to take advantage of future technology only to prevent bad ones?
Hopefully the effective government law, the people themselves know, the intentions of making the algorithm are right, all of them in the future might be in our control. Those who are working in technology – engineers, scientists – the intention of none of them is bad. Maybe some of them may be bad, but no one is trying to destroy mankind. But the fact is that scientists or engineers are technically capable of creating technology but it is too much to understand what can be the result of their work for mankind. So, if we can bring the future of technology to mankind, we talk about it, raise awareness, we can keep it technically advanced.
My book to me is not a prophecy book, but yes, our destruction is coming and we will not have to do anything here. If there is nothing to do, then writing this book is not worth any. My idea is to inform people, teach them to talk about. Where technology and artificial intelligence can take the job market, what impacts on our psychology, how we can change our relationships – we must talk to them. Just like in the mid-term elections in America, if you see someone who wants to be elected to Congress, of course, ask him, “How do you think artificial intelligence can affect the job market?” How do you think the world of technology is changing the psychology of the children? If you select us by voting, what steps will you take for these? ”
In your book “Sapiens”, you gave an idea that we believe in the many fantasy stories we have organized in our organization, in the book also it came. Which of the following do you think is the most dangerous fantasy story we believe in now?
There are two such dangerous stories now, the opposite of one another. One is the political case. In all the countries we see, many leaders are emerging from the past. They do not talk about the future, saying, “If you vote, I will bring back the golden age of your country.” That is impossible, all the golden era is actually the fantasy created by us, in most cases, their position in the history books of a particular genre, whereas the real picture Where the whole is different Where they talk about climate change, with our steps in front of technology, they talk about the past, they are getting votes, and we also believe in them through our nostalgia.
This is very dangerous, because if these leaders are not able to solve the problems of the past, they will all fail to get past. These leaders will never take responsibility for those failures, blame others. But in order to advance in technology, we will suddenly fall into the horrific economic collapse or will lose the entire humanity, but then we will not be able to see those problems. We have seen this happen in history.
Another, the opposite story is, “The future will be in balance. We have to create a new technology only after one, so that we can create a heaven in the world. “It is not conceived how technology can make us unhappy or lose jobs. We have to come out of the trap of these stories.
(Short and refined)
This interview was originally taken by Clay Skipper for the GQ Magazine. Feature image: motherjones.com