Hacking humanity is a concept that's often been introduced in sci-fi. Whether that's somehow hacking someone's DNA or AI infiltrating brain implants, media has frequently tackled the notion. However, renowned philosopher Yuval Harari believes we’re not too far away from the concept becoming reality.
Lack of AI regulation will result in hacked humans
Reported by 60 Minutes, humanity hacking will be a reality if artificial intelligence isn't reigned in. According to world-renowned philosopher and author Yuval Harari, the current trajectory of AI will result in “hacked humans”.
Harari believes that this future is inevitable due to the world's obsession with “data collection”. As algorithms power everything from entertainment to online shopping, the knowledge AI gathers will be used to increasingly manipulate individuals.
“To hack a human being is to get to know that person better than they know themselves. And based on that, to increasingly manipulate you," Harari told 60 Minutes. “Netflix tells us what to watch and Amazon tells us what to buy. Eventually within 10 or 20 or 30 years such algorithms could also tell you what to study at college and where to work and whom to marry and even whom to vote for.”
Utopia or Dystopia?
Harari explains that this AI-led, algorithm-focused future could possibly be used to create a utopia. If AI is perfectly tuned, it could point people in the right direction, finding things they like before they know they like it.
However, that utopic future would depend on which powers are in charge of the data. For example, the technology could be used to create a future where everyone is happy. On the other hand, it could be used to purely drive profit.
“The whole thing is that it's not just dystopian. It's also utopian. I mean, this kind of data can also enable us to create the best health care system in history. The question is what else is being done with that data? And who supervises it? Who regulates it?"