Biometric Data And The Rise Of Digital Dictatorship

NPR Technology

Are we one of the last generations of homo sapiens -- soon to be supplanted by engineered cyber-beings, with a distant semblance to their creators (us)?


Yuval Noah Harari: Could Big Data Destroy Liberal Democracy?

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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.


Upgrading humans will be a 'billion dollar industry'

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The next billion dollar industry will not be a service or product – it will be upgrading humans, an expert has revealed. It has been suggested that humans will have access to technology that will allow them to'upgrade themselves into gods'. Bestselling author Yuval Noah Harari has also warned that because not everyone will be able to experience the upgrade, due to costs, there will be a divide that could spark'old racist ideologies' - but this time, differences will be'engineered and manufactured'. The next billion dollar industry will not be a service or product – it will be upgrading humans, an expert has revealed. It has been suggested that technology will let humans'upgrade themselves into gods', but since the process will be costly, not everyone will have the ability to do so'The greatest industry of the 21st century will probably be to upgrade human beings,' Harari, who explores bleak future of humanity and'the rise of the useless class' in his novel Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, told Jeremy Olshan with MarketWatch.


Hackable humans and digital dictators: Q&A with Yuval Noah Harari

Al Jazeera

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.


Artificial intelligence, or the end of the world as we know it

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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.