In five years AI could be so advanced it would mean the “end of human-dominated history”, Yuval Noah Harari says
Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of Google DeepMind, and Yuval Noah Harari discussed how advanced AI will be in five years. After hearing Suleyman’s predictions, Harari said: “This is the end of human history. Not the end of history – the end of human-dominated history.” In other words, humans will no longer be the dominant life force on Earth as we have been since time began.
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Yuval Noah Harari is an Israeli author, public intellectual, historian, and professor in the Department of History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Harari gave keynote speeches on the future of humanity in Davos 2020 and 2018, on the World Economic Forum’s (“WEF’s”) main Congress Hall stage. He regularly discusses global issues with heads of state.
Harari is the author of ‘Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind’, ‘Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow’, and ‘21 Lessons for the 21st Century’. Harari is the co-founder of Sapienship, a “social-impact company advocating for global responsibility.”
Mustafa Suleyman is a British artificial intelligence researcher and entrepreneur who is the co-founder and former head of applied AI at Google DeepMind. He is currently the co-founder and CEO of Inflection AI, an AI studio and the developer of Pi. The Inflection team includes some of the industry’s top AI experts who previously worked at DeepMind, Google, Meta, Microsoft and OpenAI.
Suleyman is also a member of the Board at The Economist and a member of the Steering Committee of WEF’s AI Governance Alliance which was launched in June. Other members of WEF’s Steering Committee include:
- Nick Clegg – President of Global Affairs, Meta Platforms Inc.
- Gary Cohn – Vice-Chairman, IBM
- Brad Smith – Vice-Chairman and President, Microsoft
- Kent Walker – President of Global Affairs, Google
Suleyman’s book ‘The Coming Wave: Technology, Power, and the Twenty-first Century’s Greatest Dilemma’ was published in September 2023. Bill Gates described it as: “An excellent guide for navigating unprecedented times.”
The Economist hosted a discussion between Harari and Suleyman about the impact of artificial intelligence (“AI”) on our immediate futures, how the technology can be controlled and whether it could ever have agency.
The choice to use the word “agency” is not ours. It is the choice of The Economist and its guests. We have to critically question why they chose to use this word and discuss a computer program in these terms.
Agency is a term used to describe the sense of control people feel they have in their lives. It is our capacity to influence our own thoughts and behaviour and have faith in our ability to handle a wide range of tasks and situations. Why The Economist and its guests would even suggest an inanimate computer program can have agency is beyond rational understanding. It is also deeply concerning as it is people such as these who are attempting to drive the world into their imagined technocratic dystopia.
When asked what life will be like for humans in five years, Suleyman said: “Those of us who are at the very cutting edge, who are training the very largest AI models are going to train models that are over a thousand times larger than what you currently see today … we’ll see in the next five years capable AIs. AIs that can’t just say things they can also do things.”
He described a dystopian world where, for example, AI will make phone calls to “other humans” to negotiate and call other AIs to establish the right sequence in a supply chain. AI will be able to use application programming interfaces (“APIs”), a software that processes data transfers between systems, so it will be able to communicate with websites, knowledge bases and information stores.
Harari, who seldom uses a smartphone, said: “When I hear [what Suleyman says] … for me, what we just heard, this is the end of human history. Not the end of history – the end of human-dominated history. History will continue with somebody else in control.”
“Somebody else in control” – was the use of “somebody” rather than “something” intentional to advance the ideology of the merging of man and machine, perhaps? Similarly, Suleyman’s earlier reference to “capable AI” making phone calls to “other humans.”
In 2014, WEF’s leader Klaus Schwab described the Fourth Industrial Revolution and “globalisation 4.0” as “at the end … [it] will lead to [ ] a fusion of our physical, our digital and our biological identities.” Possibly Harari and Suleyman misspoke but be aware of the language and psychology used to indoctrinate people into accepting their ideology. What Harari said next is another case in point.
(Related: Understand Conversational Hypnosis And Conversational Hypnosis Techniques, Primed Mind and Turn off the TV – Neuro-linguistic programming has been used against populations in many countries and the UK could be in the driver’s seat, The Exposé)
When asked if AI can be contained as Suleyman had suggested. Harari responded: “If the humans are divided among themselves and are in an arms race then it becomes almost impossible to contain this alien intelligence … I’m tending to think of it more in terms of really an alien invasion.”
“Like somebody coming and telling us that there is a fleet, an alien fleet of spaceships coming from planet Zircon, or whatever, with super, with highly intelligent beings. They’ll be here in five years and take over the planet. Maybe they’ll be nice, maybe they’ll solve cancer and climate change, but we are not sure. This is what we are facing except that the aliens are not coming in spaceships from planet Zircon; they are coming from the laboratory.
“We know that they are going to be highly intelligent and at least potentially have agency and this is a very very frightening mix.”