Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow examines what might happen to the world when these old myths are coupled with new godlike technologies such as artificial intelligence and genetic engineering. What will happen to democracy when Google and Facebook come to know our likes and our political preferences better than we know them ourselves? What will happen to the welfare state when computers push humans out of the job market and create a massive new “useless class”? How might Islam handle genetic engineering? Will Silicon Valley end up producing new religions, rather than just novel gadgets? As Homo sapiens become Homo deus, what new destinies will we set for ourselves? As the self-made gods of planet earth, which projects should we undertake, and how will we protect this fragile planet and humankind itself from our own destructive powers? The book Homo Deus gives us a glimpse of the dreams and nightmares that will shape the 21st century.
“This is a very intelligent book, full of sharp insights and mordant wit.” The Guardian
“Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow… is lively, provocative and sure to be another hit among the pooh-bahs.”— The New York Times
“While it throws up thousands of questions about where we are heading as a species, Homo Deus does a remarkable job of answering them. The plausibility of some ideas will leave the reader enthralled, but perhaps very uncomfortable.” — Financial Review
“Homo Deus is hugely ambitious in the breadth of topics and disciplines it covers, tracing how we got where we are today as a civilisation in order to better understand the possibilities and pitfalls that await us in the future.” — Star2.com
“Inevitable” is a strong word. It sends up red flags for some people because they object that nothing is inevitable. They claim that human willpower can deflect and control any mechanical trend. And when the notion of the inevitable is forged with fancy technology, the objections to a preordained destiny are
In a brilliant conclusion drawing together the threat of nuclear blackmail, global warming and the growing commodification of life represented by video games, voice mail, and VCRs, Visions of the Future issues a call to face the challenges of the twenty-first century with a new resolve strengthened by the inspiration of
Too many of the customs, practices, and institutions of society were designed for a time that has passed. The Internet and its corollaries are revolutionizing much of our lives. The Western world seems to have gone into retirement mode, settling for a cautious life after the financial scares of the last
Every morning when you put your cell phone in your pocket, you’re making an implicit bargain with the carrier: “I want to make and receive mobile calls; in exchange, I allow this company to know where I am at all times.” In this book, we get to know about the here’s
For the first time in history, more people die from eating much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious disease; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists, and criminals combined.
Success breeds ambition, and our recent achievements are now pushing humankind to set itself even more daring goals. Having secured unprecented levels of prosperity, health, and harmony, humanity’s next targets are likely to be immortality, happiness, and divinity.
Our ideological commitment to human life will never allow us simply to accept human death. As long as people die of something, we will strive to overcome it.
The right to the pursuit of happiness has imperceptibly morphed into the right to happiness—as if human beings have a natural right to happiness and anything which makes us dissatisfied is a violation to our basic human rights.
We don’t become satisfied by leading a peaceful and prosperous existence. Rather, we become satisfied when reality matches our expectations.
The shift from a homo-centric to a data-centric world view won’t be merely a philosophical revolution. It will be a practical revolution. All truly important revolutions are practical. The Dataist idea that “organisms are algorithms” is significant due to it day-to-day practical consequences. Ideas change the world only when they change our behaviour.
If humankind is indeed a single data-processing system, what is its output? Dataists would say that its output will be the creation of a new and even more efficient data-processing system, called the Internet-of-All-Things. Once this mission is accomplished, Homo sapiens will vanish.
Dataism declared that the universe consists of data flows, and the value of any phenomenon or entity is determined by its contribution to data processing.
Dataism collapses the barrier between animals and machines, and expects electronic algorithms to eventually decipher and outperform biochemical algorithms.
The new projects of the twenty-first century—gaining mortality, bliss, and divinity—hope to serve the humankind. However, because these projects aim at surpassing rather than safeguarding the norm, they may well result in the creation of a new superhuman caste that will abandon its liberal roots and treat normal humans no better than nineteenth-century Europeans treated Africans.
Twenty-first-century technology may enable external algorithms to “hack humanity” and know me far better than I know myself. Once this happens, the belief tin individualism will collapse and authority will shift from individual humans to networked algorithms.
The algorithms constituting a human are not free. They are shaped by genes and environmental pressures, and take decisions either deterministically or randomly—but not freely.