Dr. Gideon Polya has at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA and the Australian National University, Canberra, and thence taught science students at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria over 4 decades.
He recently reviewed Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Israeli historian Yuval Harari. Polya says Harari’s book “is fascinating, well-organized and best-selling, but is also a Eurocentric and Anglocentric book with massive omissions e.g. the deadly, neoliberal subjugation of the Developing World (15 million avoidable deaths from deprivation annually), existential threats to Humanity (Homo sapiens) from nuclear weapons and climate change, and the worsening Climate Genocide that threatens to wipe out most of Humanity this century.
“Concerned about Artificial Intelligence (AI), Dr Harari dismisses any non-theistic purpose for humans, and argues that intelligent and conscious humans will eventually be dominated by super-intelligent but non-self-aware AI (Dataism). In contrast, Social Humanists want to sustainably maximize happiness, dignity and opportunity for everyone, and some hope that Humanity will be saved from itself by super-intelligent and conscious AI.”
I invited Yuval Harari to discuss this book on my show two years ago, but he was traveling and fully booked.
It’s well worth discussing…I share your humanitarian concerns, but also share Harari’s relative pessimism about where AI would take us.