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Daniel Kahneman and Yuval Noah Harari in conversation

May 30, 2021
Hi everyone, I'm Kara Swisher. I am broadcasting from the East Coast of the United States. Welcome to the Nexus Israel virtual negotiators summit. I'm here with two incredible thinkers and I'd love for them to introduce themselves. Then why not? Not starting well? I am a historian, I teach at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and I believe that history is not only the study of the past, but also the study of the present and the future, they are also part of history, so I cover everything. three aspects of the story, okay,

daniel

, well, I'm retired, I'm an old psychologist.
daniel kahneman and yuval noah harari in conversation
I used to teach well, I taught in many places including Hebrew University and Princeton, and now I don't teach anymore. They have both written very successful books on different topics I like that you are so modest but they are both great thinkers and they have written books that have had a huge impact on how people think about humanity so I want to start by talking and I just finished it new by

daniel

The book coming out in May is called Noise and I think it's a very provocative and interesting way of thinking about how humans interact and about the acceleration of things that have happened since the pandemic, so I want to start with that.
daniel kahneman and yuval noah harari in conversation

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daniel kahneman and yuval noah harari in conversation...

I want to talk. about the major global historical trends shaping humanity today, but I just want to hear your opinion. I know they have everything. You just wrote a really interesting article about the pandemic and its impact. I would love for each of you to rate it. of comments about where you think we're coming out of the pandemic as we start vaccinating everyone and people start returning to some kind of vague version of normal, although I don't think anything will ever be normal again, post this. one, but why don't you start right with Yuval? I think the two most important things you need to understand is that nothing is deterministic, there are many potential outcomes to this pandemic and it is not written anywhere in the stars, it depends on our decisions, we can decide for example. react to the pandemic through global cooperation and this will result in a more cooperative world after all, we could decide to react to the pandemic through competition, isolation and greater nationalism etc. and this will be the world after the pandemic, so that's one of the main The other main thing is that different people, different countries will have very different results.
daniel kahneman and yuval noah harari in conversation
I think there's a lot of things you know, there's a lot of discussion about how the economy will emerge from the pandemic, a U-shaped recovery or a V-shaped recovery. recovery or whatever, but it will probably be a K-shaped recovery, something is going up sharply and something is going down sharply, I mean different industries, tourism, collapsing digital industries, richer than ever and also different countries, some countries and regions will come out This is much more powerful than before and some might be completely bankrupt , so I don't think humanity has a single future and a single outcome of this or really any historical development.
daniel kahneman and yuval noah harari in conversation
You know, sometimes they ask me: what should you do? Should we teach our children? It depends on who we are and where we live. In some places, you have to teach your kids how to code. That is the most important. If you live somewhere else, you should teach your kids how to shoot a Kalashnikov. That's much more. It's much more important than coding computers, okay Daniel, what do you think? How do you feel coming out of the pandemic? I don't really believe in forecasts, so I don't have any particular predictions about what's going to happen. The meaning is that I don't see at this moment that there are big changes.
I mean, we're going to recover. I hope a lot depends on the virus. It depends a lot on whether we actually date, but if we date, no. I don't think it's necessarily going to be a very profound change compared to the changes that were happening anyway before the start. So why don't each of you talk about the major global historical trends that are shaping humanity today? Is there something new or unique about our contemporary economic and political landscape or is everything just unfolding as it has for centuries, as you noted, I think there are two really new things happening around us, first that this is the first time.
In the history of humanity we have no idea what the world would be like in a very short time, say 20 years. I mean, the predictions were never very accurate and you know, if you live in the Middle Ages, you don't know what will happen in 20 years maybe the Vikings invade maybe the Mongols invade maybe there will be a plague an earthquake all kinds of things could happen , but at least you know that the basic characteristics of human life will be the same if you think, for example, about the job market or the skills you need, then you know that I must teach my children to harvest wheat, bake bread and ride horses because even if the Mongols invade and even if the Vikings come and even if there is a plague in an earthquake, they would still need to harvest wheat and ride horses, so it's a safe bet.
Now that we look ahead 20 years from now, we have no idea what the job market would be like and what skills people will need, so that's the big deal. the pace of change is changing it is accelerating another thing is that for the first time in history it is likely that the deep structure of human beings will begin to change we are the same animals we were in the middle ages we are still the same animals we were in biblical times or even in the stone age, that's why we can so easily connect with people or with works of art from thousands of years ago that were written by people like us, but when I look 100 years, I say forward or 200.
Years in the future I think that for the first time it is very likely that not only will our technology, our economy and our politics change, humanity itself will change the bodies, the brains, the mental structure, the mental structures of people are now open to increasing manipulation and I think it's a reasonable bet, I don't know for sure, but it's a reasonable bet that in a century or two our planet will be dominated by entities that are much more different from you and me than we are from the Neanderthals or even chimpanzees. They could be, for example, inorganic entities, you know, after four billion years of organic evolution, maybe within a very short time we will see non-organic entities taking over, and this is completely new, it is nothing like the emergence of Christianity or the industrial revolution or the second. world war, so when you talk about that, you know what I recently interviewed Elon Musk and he talked about we're still talking with our flesh flaps, which are apparently our lips, but we're made of meat essentially and it's from a very famous . science fiction story uh, the cult, I think it's called made of flesh, so the idea that essentially you're talking about a kind of robotic organism of some kind, it's less about the moving parts, it's more about the command center And control.
I mean, you know, replacing your organic hand with a bionic hand will make big changes, but what's really important, and here it also connects to Danny's work on decision making, is who makes the decisions for most of the story, humans thought about life as a decision-making drama, you look at religion, it's about, you know, choosing between good and evil, you look at it closely, so almost all works of art great or not so greats, from Shakespeare to the latest Netflix series, usually revolves around the hero, the heroine. need to make some important decision to be or not to be, marry x or marry y and in a very short time these decisions could be made not by organic matter, but by flesh, they could be transferring responsibility to the power of the inorganic. algorithm stuff and big data algorithms and artificial intelligence that know us much better than ourselves and can make decisions in a wide range of areas, from investments in banks to decisions about my romantic life, better decisions by some measures, less emotional, so let's get into that, Daniel, because your book is wonderful, I just read it very quickly, but I've been talking about these topics a lot over the years and you talked about this idea of ​​how decisions are made. in the book it's called noise, uh, that essentially noise feels like humanity in some ways, maybe I'm wrong, you said in the book that we live, that our brains are this, in our heads, we have this wonderful computer, it's made of meat.
It's a computer, it's extremely loud, so why talk about important trends? Because obviously, this is something you're talking about about how decisions are made and how they're less biased than noisy, which is a really fascinating concept, so why not? Do you talk about that a little bit? Well, you know, this is largely in the present, not the future. Yes, my problem in this

conversation

is that I tend to agree with almost everything you've said, but on the other hand. I'm not as much in the future as he is or much in the present. In the present people make decisions that are both biased and noisy, and what we mean by noise is that they are unstable and that they are different from those of the past. judgments and decisions that other people would make in exactly the same situation and that it turns out that the errors that people make in their judgments and decisions are due as much or possibly more to noise than to prejudice. and in recent years there has been a big focus on bias in decision making.
I think there has been too much of that focus and that the noise problem should get more attention, that's what the book was intended to do when you're talking about it, the idea is to define noise for people who don't understand the concept that you're bringing up the idea of ​​what noise is the easiest way to describe it, actually presenting an example that started the book with. I was really consulting. at an insurance company and the question I posed was whether insurers who had the same problem within that company would agree on the premium they should set and I asked the executives what they expect the difference to be when two randomly chosen insurers They analyze the problem, what difference?
What would you expect between the premiums and the difference that most people think is tolerable is 10, which arises in many contexts, that the error 10 is somewhat tolerable, is called judgment? The correct judgment was 55 and that is not tolerable and what was very interesting and really The main finding that drove the book was that the organization, the insurance company, had no idea that they had that problem, it was completely new to them and That turns out to be pretty general, I mean, noise is really underrated, so we came up with a slogan that says that wherever there is judgment, human judgment, there is noise and more than you think, that's the car in the book.
You also called it a tax, an invisible tax on the bottom line of companies, which is a pretty interesting way. to say it, but one of the things you said was that you know you talked about, research has confirmed that in many tasks espers decisions are very variable values ​​of actions, etc., so one of the things you talked about and I want to address some future things. Both you and Yuval said that it is less known that the key advantage of algorithms is that they are noise-free, unlike humans, the formula will always return to the same output for any given input.
Superior consistency allows even simple and imperfect algorithms to achieve greater accuracy than human professionals, that makes you say I couldn't tell if it was you saying we should trust starting to trust algorithms. I want to start talking about where we're headed from a state of mind. Basically, you are suggesting that they make better decisions. Well, there is no doubt that when humans and the algorithm are presented with data that is representative of the problem and can help solve it, and when humans and the algorithm are presented with the same data, algorithms perform better than humans. And that, and even very simple rules work better than humans and it turns out that a lot of that advantage, some of the advantages of very sophisticated algorithms come from the ability to find subtle patterns in big data, but the advantage of rules simple it's that simple. the rules are free of noise and that is enough for simple rules to work better than humans in many situations, but one of the things you did and you said was that eventually the robot will have higher emotional intelligence, they will be wiser and that . that computers will eventually be programmed to do even the most human things, how do you see that when you look into the future, where the decision making will take place?
You know there's kind of a widespread panic about the idea of ​​these inorganic organisms. they make decisions for us even if they are better decisions and they often are, more or less they are daniel was quoted saying that the robot would have greater emotional intelligence this is daniel writing the robot would be wiser and I will read it directly, wisdom is the breathing, wisdom is not having anarrow vision, that is the essence of wisdom, it is a broad framework and a robot will be endowed with a broad framework. I don't see why when you learn enough you won't be wiser than us.
I think because we don't have a broad framework, we think we're loud thinkers, it's very easy to improve ourselves and I don't think there's much we can do that computers aren't programmed to do. Yes, I largely agree. that the impact will be everywhere, even in areas where people think, well, no, this is human, this is a human specialty, so okay, computers will be able to drive cars better, but the things that have to do with emotional intelligence or creativity no, this will always be a preserved human specialty and I see no reason why I want to say that emotional intelligence in essence is no different from other types of intelligence, it is also based on pattern recognition and um and I don't think AI has its own emotions.
One of the most common mistakes is to think that to have emotional intelligence to, for example, recognize that someone is angry, you need at least a few days. get angry yourself, otherwise how can you recognize it? This is obviously not true, anger is a biological phenomenon, it's all kinds of muscles contracting, neurons firing, and hormones being released into the bloodstream, and, uh, humans, yes, we recognize anger in part by comparing what is happening to the other. person to how I feel, but it doesn't have to be that way and I know how you feel by analyzing the signals that come from your body, your tone of voice, not only the content of your words, but also your tone of voice, the movements of the muscles in your face your eyes your mouth I have learned to recognize the signs of anger a computer can also do it without getting angry it is just that you know an algorithm that you know well, it has these signs, it means that the person is angry and a computer can do much more, You can potentially become much better than me at recognizing small changes in the color of your skin or the size of your eyes that indicate anger and can even look under your skin with biometrics with new generations of biometric sensors you could have direct access from your brain to your heart and therefore being able to recognize emotions better than humans and another thing is that you will not have any emotions of your own, so this eliminates a lot of the biases. and from the noise we discussed above, but very often what clouds our judgment is our own emotions, but an AI that is emotionless will potentially have an even higher emotional intelligence than ours because it is not clouded by these emotions and again this is relevant everywhere from investing in this in the stock market, which we know, I mean, a lot of economics is psychology and a lot of the boom and bust cycles are driven by the emotions of individual people or large groups, so you know a way to try it. and overcoming it is, I don't know, you put a kind of biometric hat on the runner's head and when the AI ​​recognizes that you've now entered the irrational zone of exuberance or fear, a red light goes out, stop.
When trading, you are not in a position to make good judgments. A further step is to simply give the algorithm the authority to make decisions and make investments without going through humans and, in more and more professions, we are likely to see AI invading the human domain and they are going to remain on the financial front. I think even today it is fair to say that the number of people who really understand how the financial system works is less than one percent of the people on Earth and that is a very generous figure. I estimate that within 20 years the number of people who understand how the financial system works could be exactly zero;
It will be so complicated, so fast, so dominated by these increasingly sophisticated algorithms that no human being will be able to really understand what is happening in the financial sector. markets, so you may still have a human being as president of the US, sure, but you know yes, this president will get a call from the AI ​​at two in the morning, uh, dear president, we we face a financial crisis, we face a financial catastrophe. I see it coming, I can't explain to you why because you're human, you can't understand it, but trust me, there's a financial storm coming, I analyze all the data and you need to do this, but I can explain to you why, because you were human, right, I can't understand it, so you know it's interesting because again I'll mention Elon Musk again, he talked about the idea that eventually AI will treat us like cats, like house cats, where they will feed us and they don't really have malevolence against us necessarily, um, because like that it's how it's depicted in movies and science fiction, um, and he recently updated it to the idea of ​​an ant hill that you're driving on a highway.
You don't even think about the ants that are there, you might cover them, you might not, but you never do, they never enter your imagination, so Daniel, when you've just written a book about decision making and things you should try. Are you trying to help businesses cut through the noise? Why bother? Because AI is going to do it. Why even if it is impossible to eliminate the noise of humanity, which is essentially a judgment? That's what we call it, completely eliminating the noise of judgment. Certainly impossible, what is happening now is that there are algorithms that are taking over more and more functions and, as Yubar was pointing out, there are professions that are going to disappear, that is, it is now better to perform dermatological diagnosis on your iPhone, basically . uh so consulting a dermatologist and this is going to happen more and more, but at the same time we are still in a world where it is humans who make decisions and there is a lot of antagonism with the algorithm, in fact, there is now that phrase algorithm aversion and that's why our book was really written with the near future in mind, that is, regardless of whether the algorithm in one or two generations takes control for the moment, its judgment and mistakes can be avoided and can only be avoided by improving the judgment so this was where Where do you think humans should be eliminated when you think you know you're always talking about this future that I think a lot of people recognize is coming when a robot calls?
I'm just using a broad term robot, AI. calls the president says this is going to happen it's a good thing it causes great emotion among people the idea and obviously they've been, you know, watching a lot of science fiction, it always ends in tears for humanity Basically, there's no bigger problem than the possibility of you knowing what will happen if human nature is going to change or if human decisions are going to be replaced by non-human intelligence, as you said, nothing of that importance has ever happened. Let's think about the history of humanity and we are not prepared for it.
The question of whether or not those robots or AI will have emotions, they will be programmed to have goals and the question of how to program the AI ​​is to have goals that are compatible. Human interests are an extremely interesting topic that comes to mind for some very, very good people in the AI ​​domain. Stuart Russell is very worried. So what worries you when you think about that? Well, I'm worried about the same thing as you. We have all expressed many of my concerns. You will have a phrase that has haunted me since I read it and the phrase was superfluous people and it is the idea that with the advent of AI, it will take care of many of the unskilled. and possibly some of the qualified activities, then there will be people for whom there seems to be a society that will not be of much use to these people and the idea that the ubi of a guaranteed universal income, basic income is the solution, it surprises me. like some kind of fantasy, no, I don't think this is going to happen, I don't think it is and I don't think it's a solution, so what I see is a huge disruption that happens before we get to the world that Yuval foresaw in your description of the future there is going to be a complete destabilization of the human condition and human societies this is not going to happen quietly and we have no idea how that is going to happen what transition to the world you were talking about that seems possible, if not likely, but how that transition can be reached with humanity still surviving in whatever shape or form, is not entirely clear, we are seeing instability growing with technological change even now and I think some of the changes we are seeing in the growing populism in many countries and so on comes from people living a life whose meaning tends to disappear.
Angus Deton has and his wife had that beautiful and tragic phrase deaths of despair where they talk about the increase in mortality in some parts of the United States and it is clear that the dignity of work and the meaning of life have been changing, they are even changing even now, and this has important political implications and clearly, as we have seen, this can destabilize the country that we were not very far away in the United States. states of this and that and if you take a perspective of decades, it will certainly destabilize the world, so

yuval

, that is something that you have written a lot about in sapiens and other books, the idea of ​​these technological changes, technology to agricultural technology, to this that has happened.
Before these massive ships, the change from agriculture to manufacturing was massive, it caused a huge populous uprising, everyone changed, they talked a little bit about what happens in those transitions and then this one you think is different, but how is that? Because it is even more technologically amplified or armed it happens faster it is again on a much larger scale it implies for the first time changing not the world outside us but the world inside us it is no longer just about cutting down forests and planting wheat and building cities it is it's about changing the brain it's about changing the body goes much deeper, but what concerns me most is the fact that we have very little room for error when I look at the previous big changes in history.
Take the last great change, the industrial revolution in the 19th century. It was a big change in everything that people do for a living, where people live in political structures and you can say we made some mistakes, but in the end, all things considered, the world got better if you look at the world in years. 2000 or even 2021 and compare it to the world in 1750, at the beginning of the industrial revolution, in most human parameters, parameters that we can measure, the ecology of animals is a different story, it is terrible, but if you just look at Humans, almost all the indicators are positive, we live longer enormous decrease in infant mortality enormous decrease in famine in violence so on after everything we solved it we solved the problem of how to use the power of industry for the benefit of humanity What worries me when I look at the process is that we had a kind of learning curve and we had a trial and error and part of the trial and error was European imperialism and it was the two world wars and the holocaust and the cold war, all of this It was part of the learning experience of how to run an industrial society, we tried Nazism, no, we tried Soviet Communism, no, well, we finally got a better formula, we don't have a mountain of mistakes in the 21st century if we go through another cycle, okay. , now we have all this artificial intelligence and bioengineering and social media and robots and all that and we will have a new round of a new Nazi regime and the new Soviet regime and another world war that we will not survive, so this time we have to do it good.
The first time, your book on noise opened with this scattered image, you know, we have to hit the target on the first try because there won't be a second try, so at least not for the majority, what do you think of that But from the book of Daniel? It starts with a famous uh the idea of ​​a team and one team hits all the targets together or another is scattered other uh others scattered randomly and the other anyway there are four different targets and from behind each group that is very close together It sounds like they're organized and let's talk a little bit about that, the idea that we have to do it right, the identification of what you always just said, can you react to that?
I think you are certainly right. in that, when the rate of change is very rapid and then that requires adjustments, that and there I would be pessimistic, but as if technological change were exponential, as Ray Kudzweil says, not that I believe it, it is exactly as he says it, But but. the rate of change is clearly greater than people's ability to cope with it. Human nature is not changing at the speed it would need to. I think even to address smaller challenges than those that Yuval talks about, there is a question of whether we will be able to confront climate change. with human nature as it is and the governance structures we have unchanged, so there are other threats that could throw us off course even before we make those big decisions and I agree with

yuval

that it's hard not to be I agree that we are actually in a very dangerous situation due to these enormous events and the speed at which they are happening.happening, which seems to be incompatible with our limited ability to react to the events you have spoken of and the inability to see the broader spectrum. uh, that humans can't see, they can't frame everything at once and have precision in their judgments, so do you think the only way to deal with that is to move as quickly as possible to algorithmic decisions because one of the things As you mentioned, even the experienced professionals you wrote about tend to have great confidence in the accuracy of their own judgments and also have great respect for the intelligence of their colleagues.
This combination inevitably leads to overestimation of the agreement. Should we just cut and run really fast? uh, next one. scenario without fighting it, well, I mean, you know there's going to be a lot of resistance and you have to anticipate that and just think of an AI so we can imagine an AI that gives better legal advice than lawyers when they can scan the precedence for an AI that It provides a better diagnosis than doctors and it's not very threatening, but when you think about an AI that can make better business decisions than business leaders and you think about business leaders having to implement that AI or resist implementing it, I think we're in for events. completely unpredictable, when those developments will occur, because the leaders are not going to remain silent and, in general, human judgment is not going to remain silent between us and the cyborgs that what you have always written about, well, there is a, You know, there are a lot of thumbs up and there is a lot of bloodshed and there are a lot of events that are completely unpredictable now, but we know there are crises coming, so you all have come.
One of the things you know is interesting because recently Peter Thiel shared that he believes we are in an era of technical technological stagnation and nothing has happened in the last few decades. Others disagree, I disagree. So when you think about the state of innovation. uh today this is a scary look at this, that we have no chance essentially if we don't get the goal exactly right, what are what you see as the biggest area of ​​potential to save us from that fate, I think? The great innovation that is changing the world more than anything else is the ability that I and others call the ability to hack into human beings to figure them out, something that you know humans have been trying to do since the beginning of history.
Humans are extremely complicated and world-wide. In history we just didn't have the tools to really understand how humans work, how they make decisions, etc., to hack a human being you need massive amounts of data, especially biological data, because we are biological entities and you need massive amounts of computing power. To make sense of it earlier in history we just didn't have this, our understanding of biology was extremely limited, the ability to collect data on masses of people was also very limited and we also didn't have the computing power if you think about it. Not even the kgb in the soviet union can you put a kgb officer to follow each and every one of the almost 200 million soviet citizens you don't have 200 million soviet agents incense of the kgb and even if you have them what do you do with the data They gather, I mean, I don't know, 1960 in Moscow, they follow you everywhere, they write a report on paper, they send it to the headquarters in the center of Moscow and then you have piles and piles and piles of paper reports, now someone needs read them. and make sense of them and come to conclusions that will become more paper reports, so even in a totalitarian regime it's really impossible, it doesn't work, it doesn't scale, no, no, it's doable, you don't need human agents to follow everyone those around you.
I have these devices, I mean, I have my own, I bought the agent that follows me around the government, I didn't even have to force myself to have them. You have all these smartphones, microphones and cameras everywhere and you don't need humans to go through all the resulting data and analyze it. Now you have artificial intelligence and machine learning, so it is becoming feasible for the first time in history to hack all people and add to that the growing biological knowledge and that is the explosion we are very close to. The point where no one will know people one hundred percent is impossible, it is impossible in nature to know something one hundred percent, but it is not necessary, you just need to know people better than they know themselves themselves and that is the great turning point in the world.
In the 21st century, this new capability has enormous positive potential and enormous negative potential. It can create the best healthcare system in history that recognizes illness long before you feel anything is wrong with you, and it can create the worst totalitarian regimes that have ever existed. something much, much worse than the soviet union, something that can really come to your mind 24 hours a day and that is the big choice we face now, there is reason for some optimism because we can still choose to use technology for good and not for Evil is difficult not only because there are so many bad actors out there but also because it requires us to be much more humble about who we humans are.
We resist the idea that we are hackable, that someone can really know me better and manipulate me, but survive what it is. is happening right now, we have to accept who we really are and the fact that I personally don't understand myself very well, but more and more other agents could do it to be, in this sense, much more curious about ourselves and much more less sure about our opinions about our thoughts and this again goes back to the work that Dany has done not only in this book but also in previous books for decades, I mean finding the biases, finding the usual shortcuts, the heuristics of the The The human mind presents itself when we look in the mirror and forces us to see ourselves in a much more humble way and if we are able to accept this and embrace it, this can be the basis for a much better world, but if we stick to This kind of egocentric, arrogant view of ourselves makes us extremely vulnerable to this new kind of technology, so Daniel, you've written a lot about these ideas of bias and people knowing themselves and you're both talking about why . even bother, why bother, since the computers we will make, we will figure it out anyway, we have all started to accept that these devices that follow us everywhere really know us best, I think most people are terrified Therefore, that is how it has been. misused, it has been easy, all the negative parts have been accessed with these technologies or it feels that way.
I'd love for you to talk about what that means and then are there positives given the ability to manipulate it so perfectly? I was concerned about uver's optimism in his last comments and what concerned me with the use of the word we as we can do it, yes I'm not sure there is an agreement, that's really the problem we face is that there is no we. There will be several people, a group of people, groups of people who will act in their own interest and it will not be how they perceive it, and there would be a us for humanity if we were attacked from outer space by another you.
I know the species that exist, but there is no us when we are dealing with even climate change, much less AI or other things. Now you ask me a question that is almost a personal question, why am I still interested in yes people, but when AI? It's going well, you know, the reason is that I've been interested in people since I was on trial and they're not in my life, but it will certainly be very different, intellectual interests and opinions about human nature are going to change. . be affected by the kind of developments that Yuval was describing and I think more than anything else, possibly even more than AI, the possibilities of hacking human beings, of hacking the biology of children, of changing the genetic makeup of people, especially, what will be available to some people and unavailable to others, the possibility of human enhancement even before we are replaced by cyborgs, this is something we are not at all equipped to deal with right now and it is very difficult to see how we, as nations.
How can states deal with that, how does that play out? So if you're not able to deal with it, if it comes anyway, if the ability to hack brains is not just that, but the person you know, like you said, just replaces your hand. one thing, but replacing force there are all kinds of things you can do to improve yourself how we deal with it what is the mechanism so the question is whether democracy can be sustained that will be a question that will arise before we face the greatest future threats what What's happening is that the powerful are getting more powerful, money is getting more powerful, I mean the power of money over democracy in the United States, as I think it has increased radically in my lifetime, as far as I can remember, and clearly when the rich can do it. improve their children and the poor cannot eh, this is going to get much worse, so inequality is already a problem and that is the inequality that exists and it is very difficult to confront, although everyone deplores inequality, there are powerful forces, for example in the United States, which continues to increase how we are going to be able to deal with that as societies in the future there are no signs at this time that the capacity of governments to deal with this is improving to meet the challenges to my surprise a little more pessimistic Than you, Daniel, when you talk about that, we have a similar situation of people as the communications companies in this country in the United States, but they are global companies, the top ten five companies are all technology companies. above, except you leave out Saudi Aramco, I think of that group, um and the 10 richest people, I think all of them, almost all of them, are tech, uh, billionaires, also their wealth has increased quite significantly during the pandemic from which they have benefited. all the services we have used, this is what you wrote about this yuval, very clever as we moved to a virtual world quite easily during this pandemic.
It's been a blessing for us to be able to do it. school or even as problematic as it's been, so when you look at Dana, this idea of ​​a small group of people making decisions, how do you think about that when there's one of the encounters I had with one of Google? The founders uh when I wrote they were trying to take over all the search and I said they can't be allowed to do this and I use the example of Microsoft being dominant technology for a long time and I said at least Microsoft knew they were bullies um , he was offended by this characterization of him as a bully and he called me and said I'm not a bully and I said yeah, well you're not a bully, but who's going to run Google in 20 years?
I don't know, maybe they're a bully, maybe they're not even a bully, maybe they're a machine, I don't know, maybe they're a bully machine and the concept of it was kind of like, it's ridiculous, we're good. people, we talked about the idea of ​​Decision makers are sure that they are not good people, since it turns out that they are not bad people either, so talk about this idea of ​​doing this when it is concentrated in the hands of a small number of people , which disintegrates when that happens. Me first, in fact, before answering your question. Let me say something about Yuva's comments above because I think he pointed out something that is very important.
We tend to very naturally think that events in the world are the events we know about. There are the events in the Western world, but in reality the future will be determined by China, it is what is happening internally in China and it is the leadership of China and it is the behavior of China towards other people and towards other nations that is what it is. You're going to determine, you know the history of the 21st century, so I think any thoughts should go in the direction that Yuval's comments were going. What is going to happen in China is really very important.
What is happening in the United States with growing inequality. In wealth and power, inequality as such means that democracy becomes a kind of fiction, that is, as we can see even in the United States, as it exists now, the power of money to buy politicians, not by them, in terms of corruption. by supporting them by supporting their campaign, the power of money over politics in the United States is poisonous and clearly when there is a threat of universal basic income, there are quite a few billionaires and I'm thinking of you, you know Rebecca Mercer, for example.
I won't let that happen, and she and people like her have a lot of power. Now we're lucky to have quite a few billionaires who are actually very benign. Buffett being behind the doors is benign and Google's founders want to be benign, but the concentration of power in the hands of a few people is really what democracy was created with.hope to avoid. I mean, humanity has tried to avoid this and I think the concentration of power has clearly been getting worse over the last few decades in the United States. I mean, this is a very US-centric point that I'm making, so when you have the decision-making in those hands, I mean, you're famous for understanding the decision-making, what happens, at those levels, just I know my experience.
You know I hate using this term, but you get licked up and down all day and think you're right all the time and when someone challenges your way of thinking, I often do, they look shocked but are totally incapable. of making the decisions and you saw it in the elections with two people who decided to kick a president off a major platform or major social media platforms now, while that might have been the right decision, they could have followed the rules correctly. the fact that there were two people doing it seemed worrying to me at least even if I agreed with the decision yeah I think it should be worrying for everyone I mean there is enormous power there has been a huge transition of power towards tech companies and some of whom are controlled in a really dictatorial way, I mean, there is no doubt that they are single individuals making decisions for themselves and with their own interests.
I would not trust any individual to know the true motivations for the actions they are taking. It is a difficult thing to acquire, so yes, it is clearly very dangerous, so why is this happening? What do they do about it? What's that? How do they change? Are there opportunities for positive change here in that? Do you feel that governments have done it? the ability to do something about this amount of in this case it happens that they used to be oil barons they used to be train barons whatever throughout history it used to be whatever um how does that change today because it's been changed?There have been many powerful people who have been unceremoniously overthrown throughout human history.
Yes, I think politics is about that and as I said at the beginning of our talk, we always have options, it is never deterministic what will happen with the next technology. The same technology can be used to build very different types of social and political systems. 20th century technology could be used to create a regime like that of Nazi Germany or the democratic United States. It was the same technology. There wasn't a big difference. in technology between the united states andrew roosevelt and germany under hitler if you look today at north korea and south korea the difference is not technological so as a historian I am very skeptical and also very concerned about technological determinism because we have this technology the only result must Being that it is never like that is generally a fiction told by people who want this result so they tell you well it is inevitable because this is what technology dictates it is not true in the 19th century the great magnates of coal and the steel industry told people, well we have to have child labor, this is the new economy, we have to have eight year olds working in coal mines instead of going to school, if we don't, if laws are made against the Germans they will and they will surpass us.
Today we look back and, first of all, we know that it was not like that in the UK Parliament and then in Germany elsewhere, earlier laws that said children should go to school and not to coal. mine and we also understand that in reality this was even more efficient, the country benefits when the economy benefits when eight-year-old children go to school and not to a coal mine, so now it seems obvious to us, but if we go back to 1860 or 1870 is a big debate, I mean, some people say no, it has to be like that, it's not that we don't like it, but this is technology, this is the industrial revolution, yes, actually there is a discussion like that one right now with the technology people talking.
China versus the United States like they have to be this big. I call it the her or me argument that Mark Zuckerberg often makes. It's China or me and I didn't say what the third option is. Where is my theory? I think the other options that we can build options we should at least build, I mean, there are certain kinds of guidelines on how to build, let's say, the data economy in a better way, to give just a few examples whenever surveillance of the people at the same time that you need to increase surveillance of for the government and large corporations, this should be a key principle: okay, we have this technology, it has a lot of potential, it's like we need to find the pandemic, the crisis of greed , so surveying people is a very important tool in the fight against the pandemic and I.
I am in favor, but on the condition that at the same time government surveillance is also increased. The government is now spending trillions. I want to easily know where the money is going and who makes the decision to ensure the money reaches the people who really need it. and not to a large corporation that is a friend of the minister and it is the same technology, if it is now easier to survey me, it is also easier to survey you and it does not make us less efficient than China if we do it because you know.
Again, if you look at the pandemic, there was a lot of discussion about whether the pandemic would have broken out in the first place if China was democratic, no one really knows for sure what will happen in the first few weeks now and I don't for a moment believe any of the ridiculous conspiracy theories about this were produced in a lab or something, no, no, no, I'm not going in that direction, it's just that you know, when you first differ, when you have the first cases, the inclination of an authoritarian regime that You have total control. of the media is to suppress bad news, not tell bad news, not because of some big conspiracy from above, because you know that the people at the bottom don't want to share the bad news and you don't have a free press to write about it so you can hide it and then you will have more cases and more cases until it explodes and then it is too late to stop it in a democracy maybe local officials would have also tried to take drastic measures and prevent the inflammation from spreading but you have journalists and bloggers and someone would have raised the alarm sooner and maybe all of this would never have happened in a similar way if you think about vaccines, so I would trust a vaccine coming from a democratic country, I wouldn't trust a vaccine that comes. of an authoritarian regime and until it is controlled by the health authorities in a democratic country and for an obvious reason I want to say that vaccines are such an important tool today, I do not trust that in an authoritarian regime the university or the laboratory or the health authority If they discover that the vaccine is dangerous, I don't trust them to tell the truth.
Well, one of the things you have always talked about, Daniel, is the noise, the noise that democracies make, which is very noisy, I want you to do it. the case of noise so this is what will stop it the idea of ​​people making noise about being unpredictable making bad decisions is it so bad to make bad decisions all the time? Well, I think that bad decisions are bad and variability can be bad or variability can be very desirable, so yes, since what makes life worth living, what makes life interesting is the variability. When different doctors examine the same patient they get different diagnoses, it's noise, so diversity is desirable in many contexts, what we're seeing is and that's it. the danger to democracy, the centralization of power, for example, in institutions like Facebook, on the one hand, and Fox News, on the other, the possibilities of misuse of this type of power are really antithetical to the very idea of ​​democracy and, you know, my Imagination I tend to be pessimistic by temperament, so good scenarios don't come to me easily, but how to have a good scenario where there is democratization and at the same time undo what has been happening, i.e. that different communities are exposed to different Now, I'm going to push you because I feel like you might be a smart person winning all those awards that How would you begin to undo just one thing that you talked about on the bad information diet?
What you're talking about is people understanding, you know, this is kind of classic propaganda. What happens every day is a different thing, whether it's anti-Vaxx or it's election fraud or whatever um, how do you start to turn that tide? I live in the United States, well two of us, there are countries that are doing better. I mean, I think clearly what's happening in the West. Europe regarding technology efforts to control technology efforts to protect privacy there is a lot that can be learned from what they are doing is not stopping what appears to be, I mean, it's not clear that populism is really spreading , it's there are ebbs and flows, but it certainly doesn't stop some populist developments that could lead to fascism etc., but there is an example there.
I think that today the democracy of the United States is more threatened in the United States than in Western Europe and there is an interesting thing living here as a foreigner in the United States: there is a reluctance when you are an American, there is a reluctance to look for inspiration elsewhere, How could anyone do things better there? of what they've done here, well, you know we're exceptional, I don't know if you got that message when you got here, we're supposed to give you that book, yeah, uh, and that's what prevents it, I think it really is.
Remarkable, yes, few people in the United States know how things work elsewhere, such as healthcare systems. I mean, a lot of people in the United States think they have the best healthcare system in the world. What is that kind of thing? It's not a conspiracy, but what is it? It is happening in the culture that allows such facts to remain unknown for decades within a democracy and clearly when that becomes manipulated as, for example, the news about climate change becomes politicized and manipulated, the threat is very high, the threat level is very high, but when you think about it, with the idea of ​​bad information diets, humans get bad information and can't take advantage of other things.
Can you think historically if there's been a turning point like that because you know we've had the Salem Witch? evidence that we have had you know that there are all kinds of conspiracy theories since always since the beginning of time you know that mussolini didn't need instagram for this to happen hitler didn't need twitter um, I know it sounds silly to say it like that but they used newscasts, they used any technology of the time, can you talk about something that was somewhat similar where the tide was able to turn and why I think the situation is bad, but it's probably better than almost any other? once in the last few thousand years, but as you say, just go back a hundred years to Nazism, Fascism and Communism and they were able to spread this information and conspiracy theories and brainwash people on a massive scale with theories and stories even worse than those seen today.
Very successful without Twitter, Facebook and social media, a thousand or hundreds of years ago and as you mentioned, the whole witch hunt craze is the result largely in Europe and in the British colonies like Massachusetts. It is the result of the printing press. People think that when Gutenberg brought the prince to Europe, the result was the scientific revolution and everyone sat down to read Galileo Galilei and then Copernicus. Very few people read Galileo and Copernicus. Most people read the Bible. or they read all these ridiculous new conspiracy theories like uh, about witches, one of the biggest bestsellers in the early days of printing in Europe was called the witches' hammer, it was a DIY guide on how to identify and kill witches, something everyone can do. needs at home, of course, and people would buy it from a friend for a fraction of what it would cost before printing and they completely believed it because you know the books were so beloved that people would say I read it in a book there.
They are witches and they fly on broomsticks at night and you can recognize them because they have that Walt on their face or whatever and thousands and thousands of innocent people, mostly women, were gruesomely murdered because there were frenzied crowds who believed in these ridiculous theories of conspiracy so I don't need Facebook for that and in some ways the situation at the beginning of the 21st century is again bad but it is better than in the beginning of the 20th century it is better than in the 16th century the key problem is that the truth very often at principle is much more complicated. more complicated than a fantasy story that someone makes up and secondly, which is very painful, most people do not want to know the truth about themselves as individuals or as a collective, as if we had an election in Israel in a week , next week, another, wow, another, yes, We really like elections.
Sorry, I've lost track. A politician who tells the Israeli public the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about Israel's history, is one hundred percent guaranteed to lose.the elections. There is no way a politician like that. would ever win an election and that is not exclusive to Israel, a politician who would do that in the United States is destined to lose the elections and it is the same in Italy and in Poland and in the Philippines and everywhere people do not want to know everything the truth about their nation or about their culture or about themselves personally is an uphill battle we are in a better place than before in history but again I am not very optimistic because the basis for human success is not the truth, It is cooperation. and it is easier to get people to cooperate with a fiction than with the truth because fiction can be made much easier and much more pleasant than the truth, so in most of history you do not see a correlation between the truth of a The theory and its political appeal in science yes, if you want to build an atomic bomb you need a correct physical theory of the universe, but in politics in no way does fiction generally trump truth in politics, so come on, let's talk about this because one of the things that I studied Q Anon and the others a lot and one of the things that is really interesting in terms of December because it depends a lot on their decision making when they are reading these things, you know that they thought that the elections were obviously cooked and they were convinced of it and that was repeated, oh, very typical propaganda, I think the constant repetition appeals to fear, appeals to financial problems, things like that, but one of the things that I find interesting is when they make these decisions, people who reads this, if it could plummet, the most recent was that Biden is actually Trump and they changed their face.
I know it sounds crazy, but that's one of them and I thought it was a movie with Nicholas, uh Cage, just FYI. It was called a showdown, it's always a movie, it's always a movie that they've decided to make happen or their version of reality, so what happens is when something doesn't happen and it turns out that he's not them now. biden is an AI figure, oddly enough he is a robot programmed by AI, also Tom Hanks and some other people are also robots and the reason they wear masks is because they haven't noticed the mouth around it , the AI ​​hasn't perfected the mouth, so I know it sounds crazy to say this, but they then continue on when something gets in their way.
Can you talk about how people do that from a decision-making perspective to change? from one thing to the next crazy theory I essentially mean that there is, you know, there is a basic principle of the way the mind works, the mind speaks coherent stories and we tell and construct coherent stories, sometimes they are closer to the TRUE. Sometimes what determines our confidence in theories is not whether they are true or not, but whether they are coherent or not, and by coherence I mean both the internal coherence that you can tell a story and that it seems to make sense. now you've explained to me you know why so many people wear masks and that's something I hadn't thought about before but now you've told me that it sounds good and it's very convincing and I believe in it and it's new and I want to tell it to my friends, but consistency too It's emotional coherence, meaning you have to have the right heroes, the people you already like, and you have to have the right villains, the people you already hate, and when you can construct a story that has the right heroes, the villains. correct and some consistency doesn't really have to be true in any scientific way, people will have confidence in it because our confidence and this is something that is very difficult for scientists to accept because you talked about that.
The confidence that people have in your beliefs in your latest book has very little to do with the truth, confidence has a lot to do with internal coherence and with emotional coherence and that makes it relatively easy to get people to believe in all kinds of fictions that we just need Remember that the fears that these types of stories express should be taken seriously because if you now have a theory that Biden is actually an AI, the real story is ridiculous but it channels a legitimate fear, very powerful and very realistic. I just spent an entire hour talking about how AI is taking over the world, so when someone believes that Biden is actually an AI, it's literally, of course, nonsense, but it makes sense in the sense that yes, the AI is taking over the world, the president of the US one of the most powerful people in the world, so the president of the US is an ai in in a sort of analog or metaphorical sense, the metaphor is correct or when you say that Biden actually wins, this again channels a deep fear. that all these politicians are interchangeable Democrat-Republicans, in the end they all screw us and we will find nothing, so whatever means Trump is, it is ridiculous in fact, but it encapsulates some kind of true metaphor to combat conspiracy theories , we also have to understand what makes them attractive, right, and to see the legitimate fears or concerns that make them attractive to people, it's absolutely true when you think about the second part and then I want, we have about 20 minutes, I want to end with two topics important things, which is should we have humans around and then what you see is hopeful, but when you think about what's happening with the onslaught of technology, one of the things I spent a lot of time thinking about is its reductive nature. of how it all comes down to short, reductive stuff versus you know, PR versus political soundbites versus thinking, even if the decision making and judgment is loud, what's happening now is something very different, do you think the human brain is being transferred to a reductive nature where everything, you know?
You see them showing up every day like Dr. Seuss, which isn't real when you start explaining it. It's not really a thing, but it becomes a thing. Do you think there are things happening in our brains around decision making because of the reductive nature of these technologies well I don't think the brain is being changed by what is happening I mean evolutionary changes take longer than yeah, it's really the same thing that's been happening and I'm not sure how different it is because of what was happening before, if the speed of change and the speed of the news seems to be accelerating and the interest changes and probably the number of times people check their phone during a day, this is changing the way the mind works, it is not changing the brain, but it certainly makes our minds vulnerable to change and external influence more than before.
There is no doubt about how it changes and how it affects decision-making because we are talking about decisions. do a lot in terms of how people make decisions whose decision making has, is clearly all we're saying, all we're seeing is that it creates communities, I mean, I don't think the people you know make that many decisions. on their own, I mean, people are very influenced by the decisions of their neighbors and if you want to know what people think, ask what their neighbors think before you ask about their personalities or their ideas or whatever, where in our communities we meet. and now social networks are creating communities.
New types of communities are being created, so I don't think it's changing. I don't think people are less autonomous or more autonomous than before they were influenced. There were different sources. of influence people were under the influence of the church and now it's not a church now it could be facebook but the idea that you're getting your thoughts from the outside that's not new uh human nature hasn't changed in that sense so do you have everything you talk about about the scope of the story? Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future of humans? I know it's a big question, but I'm going to ask it anyway.
I mean, obviously, he feels bad, he feels pessimistic, he's just saying it was. the church before and what if it is Facebook maybe that is even better because what is happening is more transparent or people have more access to information. I think there are reasons for some optimism because we see very positive changes in history and I don't. Talking about material changes is easy. Well, we invented vaccines. Well, I'm talking about positive changes in ethics, immorality in social interactions. The level of violence in the world today is lower than at any previous time in history since the Agricultural Revolution and by a very large margin and even as a resident of the Middle East, I know that there are still wars in the world, I live in Israel , I know, but still, if you look at almost all the numbers, violence is a historical law and it is not.
Because of some new technology, people really changed the way they built societies, the way they make decisions, yes technology has something to do with that, the threat of nuclear war is part of this reduction, but the Dumb people needed to make better decisions. and they made better decisions since Hiroshima, there was no other world war and, to take another example, if I look at the feminist revolution, it is one of the greatest revolutions ever experienced in human society. You know, for thousands of years you had political, economic and technological revolutions. One thing remained constant: men dominate women and then in a very short period of time, historically about a century, not that we have reached a point of complete equality, far from it, but things change dramatically and What makes me even more optimistic about this example was it is done peacefully, you know, many people say that to make omelettes you have to break some eggs, you didn't break any eggs in the feminist revolution, maybe the enemies of the feminist revolution used the violence, but feminists didn't, they didn't do it.
They didn't start any war, they weren't terrorists, they didn't build guillotines in the city square, they didn't send people to the gulag and they completely changed the world, so it's an example, it's not a guarantee, but it's an example that you can change. the world to quickly improve peacefully and without inventing a new technology simply by changing people's opinions, what is your case for humanity? uh daniel it's not much different from us I mean we're based on the same information things have been improving there is a secular trend clearly that depends heavily on education so there is hope if it can be improved education, but the question really is whether the speed at which things can improve can match the speed at which dangers arise and whether one is an optimist or a pessimist, which largely depends on your genes anyway. , but if you are an optimist you will see things one way, if you are a pessimist you will see many dangers and many changes for the worse and the changes for the better are fragile and all the improvements that we see, and there is no doubt that we are seeing great improvements, are also quite fragile, since I think we could all easily agree on what is greatest about each of you.
The challenge that you think we face as a planet, I guess as a global planet, I think we've been talking about it for the entire hour, yes, for the entire hour, is this accelerated pace of technological change, especially this ability to hack human beings, already You know, nuclear. War is extremely scary, but at least no one wants a nuclear war and the only question is how to prevent it. The objective is clear and the same goes for climate change. Nobody wants climate change and ecological collapse. Some people say it's a myth, but no. it happens but even they don't like it they just say it's not real now with technological disruption it's very different many people are working very hard to accelerate these things yes but for some of us our nightmares for them could be dreams and there is no consensus about what the desired end is and what to do with it.
There is no consensus on this. It's going to change the very meaning of what it means to be human, so at least intellectually it's a much more complicated challenge. No, it's not clear what the danger is and what if it's not beneficial versus anything else when you look at, you know, a lot of these are, in fact, they're all tech billionaires who talk about going to space when you see them. doing that, how do you see it? I have no objection to going to space, yes, I think it's a kind of escapism, you know, when one of the main interpretations of the space race in the '50s and '60s is that there was a growing feeling that the planet is doomed, so even unconsciously the Kremlin leaders in the White House are okay, we have to look somewhere else because this place is going to hell and then the cold war ended and so did space, the space age seemed to have been forgotten.
Okay, planet Earth is saved, we can stay here and build a good life here and now, when again it seems like everything is collapsing, you have these billionaires, okay, this place is lost, we've ruined it, we have to look a new place to settle, so I think at least some of that comes from that psychological tendency and that's very, very dangerous because we won't get it done in time. I don't see any way we can build colonies on Mars or at any time,Even if we do it, it will be enough for, I don't know, a few thousand people, the billions and billions of people on planet Earth need voices that all these industry giants should focus on how to save this planet before reaching other planets.
So Daniel, what is your biggest challenge going forward? As you said, we have been talking about these challenges. You know that, in principle, the great challenge is to domesticate human nature. And we won't see any quick way to do it. As for the race to space, it's a game, I mean, clearly, it can't be serious, so, and people do this because they can and because they can create more visible changes and they could if they spend billions trying to improve the situation. humanity, which is slow and difficult and in that sense I would say that Bill Gates looks like an adult in the room who is not playing those games and is actually trying to deal with the problems as they exist, but there is a lot of playing, yes , Yeah.
I just did an interview with him and I said you used to be Darth Vader and suddenly you're Luke Skywalker or someone, I don't know what happened, but talking about that president, the company excluded, of course, who the most important figures are. shaping human history right now, I guess there are unknown engineers somewhere working on something who have no idea what the repercussions of that would be, who are probably changing the world more than anyone else and that's a cause for concern because coming back to the idea of ​​noise that is a kind of historical noise suddenly, out of nowhere, a new technology emerges and changes everything and all our expectations and all our predictions are not worth much, so I would say that these types of people are the the most important changes at the moment.
Lack of appreciation of the consequences. They typically have a limited view that they are developing an application or technology and are very focused on solving a particular technical problem. They don't think much about what the consequences would be for politics, culture and human psychology. and so on, this is usually the case, I mean, one of them, one of the things that allows them to be such good engineers is that they have little distracting noise from elsewhere thinking about what the consequences will be for the global geopolitical situation that We wouldn't be able to see the consequences, I mean we've been talking for about an hour and a half as if we could know the future, but the fact is you know there's a lot of history to tell us, we can't tell the future technological forecast the scientific development forecast has a miserable track record now we can't help but be confident in our ability to predict because we see those trends and we can't imagine other stories and our sense of what is inevitable comes from a limited imagination and the primary possibility of devising or inventing new stories, of In fact, as Yuval says if you ask who are the most important people in the world today the answer is that we have no idea they have no idea that it will be known in the future and in the future people will point and say oh that was the important event because it had consequences and it's no one's fault that they couldn't foresee the consequences because our ability to foresee is very limited, unless it's AI and then they realized everything, but, but, Daniel, I'm going to pressure you, okay? , 20 years ago, who was it?
The most important person he is now and that we can see now, in retrospect, if you want to talk about politics, I would find it difficult. Clearly, someone in China, I would say, is the most important person, whether it's her or someone else who's controlling. The future of politics is a trivial answer if you look at the science. I think the people you know the most are the most important today or played an important role 20 years ago. They were children. They were scientists. By the way, young people are changing the world, they are people in their forties or fifties, it is Mr.
Sabby in the context of Ai, it is Jennifer Goodnight and people who are younger than her, she is older and compared to others . uh those are the important people and they are identified only retrospectively, retrospectively, okay, so let me put you in a situation, just a few more minutes. If you were to start today, you want to leave some hope for young people because one of the things I find very helpful is that when I talk to young people I feel a lot better about the planet for some reason. I just finished a class at the University of Chicago and felt like they really get it. these problems in a much broader way than I, I feel like I'm on fire most of the time, if you started right now, if you were 20 years old, what would each of you do?
Would you choose as your area of ​​expertise if you couldn't choose the one you chose? Don't say what I've done, you know? It's something obvious. Today I would have gone to brain study or brain study. the study of AI because those are the most fascinating avenues for future understanding of human nature actually and what happens to the brain and studying how it works discovering the computer, yeah, I mean, clearly it's a computer and clearly we have very little idea of ​​what it is, I mean, you know if science continues to develop as it seems to be developing, but in 200 or 100 years, you know, with the knowledge of science today that seems incredible, we seem childish, you know that there is a very limited understanding of the world about a century ago, so that's what the brain is, what about you evildoer?
I would go to study the mind, not the brain, assuming that we are now in a mind-hacking race, I mean, in the end, that's all. about the mind, not about the brain, nobody cares about the brain as such, we care about the brain because we believe that this is the door to the mind and I think we are in a race that hacks the human mind first and if the AI does it first, then the game is over and I think to protect ourselves, we better understand our own minds, that's really the only potential safeguard, so I would go in that direction or it's not too different from what I'm doing anyway, but in the direction of would.
I talk extensively about poetry, not writing poems as poems but about the autistic imagination because we need a good story to deal with what's happening. My view of history is that in the end the most powerful force in history, at least until today, was the fictional stories, this is what brought it together. millions of people together you can't unite people with science it's not interesting enough it's not easy enough to understand you need a good story and what we're seeing now is a kind of crisis of the imagination that most stories not all but most stories um you know, even if it's science fiction, many science fiction plots focus on the wrong thing, you have so many movies about the robot rebellion coming to kill us, very few movies about robots , they don't try to kill us, they just get by. the financial system in a way that we don't understand now how to make an interesting science fiction movie about a world where the financial system is run by an AI, the terminator doesn't kill anyone, but what does it look like so you know? something like Black Mirror or at least some of the Black Mirror episodes.
I'm going to have my life again. I would like to be in a position today where I can do something like that. What I often tell Silicon Valley engineers when I talk to them is that I said imagine your invention is an episode of Black Mirror, which is always terrible, and don't do it like that or find a way to do it like that. It is a more benign version of what you are creating. What I usually tell them in the same sense is think about the politician you dislike the most in your country or in the world and now think about what he will do with your invention and now think again about how to plan.
How to design your invention. I have to finish with one last question that you have at the end here because it is going to be very difficult, but I will give you an option, the question is what is the meaning of life that is too difficult that is too difficult each one has a different meaning I'm going to change that a little bit and I'll talk about if you say we have to rewrite our stories what the best future will be like in a hundred years For each of you, what is this society like? Daniel, I'll start with you.
It is a society possibly in which we have hacked human nature and in which we control some of the aggressive impulses and in which education and perhaps more than education. may be hacking human beings, uh, it's made people more able to live in peace and live interesting and rich lives, that's a hope, that's a distant hope, well, may you have the last word. I think two key things are, first, the resulting power. because all these inventions are not shared equally among everyone, but at least they are not concentrated in the hands of a small elite, whether it is a human elite or a non-human elite and, secondly, very close to what Daniel just said that the power is used to hack human beings. not to manipulate us, not to control us, but to help us understand ourselves better and improve ourselves.
You know the old saying that know thyself, we now have the technology to do so if the technology is used for our benefit and not for the benefit of some big guy. corporation or totalitarian government, then this may really be the best society that has ever existed, that sounds like a great thing, it sounds like non-fungible tokens, well suddenly everything you know about that, we're not even going to get into that, um. I really appreciate it you two are so amazing and smart and I think it will be, this

conversation

was very stimulating for me at least and I appreciate all your work.
I'm looking forward to Daniel Noise and Yvonne's new book coming out. What are you working on in a children's book that's supposed to come out? I'm actually working on two, a graphic novel for adults that's already out in part one, and a children's book that's supposed to come out next year. Well, I appreciate it. thank you very much to both of you

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