Yuval Noah Harari says data is the new source of political power, and he worries that big data and AI technology threaten to destroy liberal democracy. Yuval Noah Harari is a historian, lecturer, and author. He is the author of the international bestseller Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, as well as Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. Harari received his PhD from Oxford. He is currently a lecturer in the history department at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Israeli writer Yuval Harari claims that the world is in the middle of an artificial intelligence war led by the USA and China. According to Harari, countries that cannot keep up with the race will either go bankrupt or become colonial. Israeli historian Yuval Harari, author of Sapiens, Homo Deus, and 21 Textbooks for the 21st Century, claims that the world is now in the midst of a US and China-led artificial intelligence war. Hariri said, "If you have enough data, you do not need to send troops to a country to take over it. Countries that fail to keep up with this race will either go bankrupt or become a colonial data colony.
Yuval Noah Harari was catapulted into the international literary spotlight in 2014 following the English translation of his book Sapiens. The book, which covers the history of humanity from the discovery of fire to modern robotics, became a non-fiction publishing phenomenon, feted by then-US President Barack Obama and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and went on to sell more than eight million copies worldwide. In his next book, Homo Deus, the Israeli historian and author explored how the growth of big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and biotechnology could radically alter and divide human society, perhaps ending the species altogether. The same themes crop up again in his latest work, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, which collects essays, talks and responses to his readers in a series of observations on everything from meditation to climate change. In an interview with the Talk to Al Jazeera programme, Harari discussed technology, immigration and politics with Al Jazeera's Harry Fawcett in Tel Aviv.
That's one of the surprising -- and unsettling -- questions Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari asks in his much-quoted new book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. Whereas 20th-century technology favored democracies as they were able to distribute power to make decisions among many people and institutions, according to Harari, artificial intelligence (AI) might make centralized systems that concentrate all information and power far more efficient as machine learning works better with more information to analyze. "If you disregard all privacy concerns and concentrate all the information relating to a billion people in one database," Harari writes, "you'll wind up with much better algorithms than if you respect individual privacy and have in your database only partial information on a million people." The rise of AI swinging the pendulum from democracies toward authoritarian regimes is just one of the feared adverse impacts of technologies: Others include job displacement, concentration of power, diminishing privacy, rising income inequality and losing our "free will." Yet most people have little or no knowledge about how AI, blockchain, the Internet of Things or genetic engineering could affect their lives.