How to Survive the 21st Century

How to Survive the 21st Century | DAVOS 2020

Nuclear war, ecological collapse and technological disruption pose an existential threat to human civilization. Join a conversation that explores the challenges of the 21st century and how to address them before it is too late.

  • Humanity faces three existential threats this century, warned historian Yuval Harari at Davos 2020.
  • Technology risks dividing the world into wealthy elites and exploited “data colonies,” he explained.
  • “If you like the World Cup – you are already a globalist,” he said, making the case for better cooperation to tackle the challenges.
The AI revolution might create unprecedented inequality not just between classes but also between countries.

In the nineteenth Century, a few countries like Britain and Japan industrialized first, and they went on to conquer and exploit most of the world. If we aren’t careful, the same thing will happen in the twenty-first century with AI.

We are already in the midst of an AI arms-race, with China and the USA leading the race, and most countries being left far far behind. Unless we take action to distribute the benefit and power of AI between all humans, AI will likely create immense wealth in a few high-tech hubs, while other countries will either go bankrupt or become exploited data-colonies.

Now we aren’t talking here about a science fiction scenario of robots rebelling against humans. We are talking about far more primitive AI, which is nevertheless enough to disrupt the global balance.

Just think what will happen to developing economies once it is cheaper to produce textiles or cars in California than in Mexico? And what will happen to politics in your country in twenty years, when somebody in San Francisco or Beijing knows the entire medical and personal history of every politician, every judge and every journalist in your country, including all their sexual escapades, all their mental weaknesses and all their corrupt dealings? Will it still be an independent country or will it become a data-colony?

When you have enough data you don’t need to send soldiers, in order to control a country.

Ability to hack human

The ability to hack humans might still underline the very meaning of human freedom because as humans will rely on AI to make more and more decisions for us Authority will shift from humans to algorithms and this is already happening. Already today billions of people trust the Facebook algorithm to tell us what is new. The Google algorithm tells us what is true. Netflix tells us what watch and the Amazonian Alibaba algorithms tell us what to buy. In the not so distant future similar algorithms might tell us where to work and whom to marry and also decide whether to hire us for a job. Whether to give us a loan and whether the central bank should raise the interest rate and if you ask why you you will not given a loan or why the bank didn’t raise the interest rate? The answer will always be the same. Because the computer says no and since the limited human brains lacks sufficient biological knowledge computing power and data humans will simply not be able to understand the computers decisions. So even in supposedly free countries humans are likely to lose control over own lives and also lose the ability to understand public policy.

Watch Full Video here: How to Survive the 21st Century | DAVOS 2020

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