Future fruit of the "organisms are algorithms" idea


EXCERPT: The most profound statement in over 150 years of biological research since Charles Darwin can be summarized in just three words, “organisms are algorithms.” This is the biggest insight to come out of modern life sciences, according to historian Yuval Harari at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Will the future of humanity be even human, or is our generation one of the last to be called homo sapien?

How to hack a human 101

According to Harari there are two simultaneous revolutions taking place that have led scientists to the brink of hacking humans.

Advances in computer science and machine learning
Advances in biology and brain science

With the breakthroughs coming forward in these two revolutions occurring on this planet at the same time, we now have the tools at our disposal to hack humans...

[...] Data is the most important asset in the world

What do all of these processes have in common? Data. “Data is the most important asset in the world,” said Harari...

[...] Machines know us better than we know ourselves

. . . We all know that our governments are surveilling us constantly ... To give an example from Harari, he said that machines know us better than we know ourselves. At age 21, he came out as gay after struggling with his sexuality all his life. But now the technology exists to build machines that can track eye movement, blood pressure, heart rate, and brain activity, so that an actual ‘gaydar’ can be used to find out where people lay on the gay/straight spectrum...

[...] Emotional manipulation

. . . what if you take the same data and give it to corporations or the ruling class? They would be able to manipulate your emotions. ... Take this a step further, and hand over this information to governments and they will know everything that makes you tick and how to control you...

[...] Towards a digital dictatorship

. . . all dictators have their advisers and counselors, so they are more like oligarchies in disguise. A digital dictatorship will be one where information and decision making is concentrated to just one entity, the machine. If this happens, where would democracy play in? “AI and machine learning might swing the pendulum,” says Harari, towards making centralized data processing more efficient. If democracy can’t adapt, we become under the rule of the machines....

[...] Bioengineering a new species of human

According to Harari, once you hack something, you can definitely re-engineer it. That is why he believes that within a century or two, “earth will be dominated by entities that are more different than us than we are different from neanderthals or from chimpanzees.” The transhuman agenda is happening now. It’s being programmed into our subsconsciousness through movies, art, and the media...

[...] Who should regulate data ownership?

The elite are not ready to be entrusted with the future of life. “They seem incapable of producing meaningful versions of the future,” Harari said. So, what’s the solution? Who should regulate ownership of the data? Unfortunately, not even the good historian has an answer, but he left a clue. Apart from calling upon scientists, philosophers, lawyers, Harari believes there is one group above the rest, more qualified and more conscious about the human condition than all the others — poets...

MORE (details): https://sociable.co/technology/hack-huma...davos-wef/

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