Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Death is Optional

There is a great discussion between Daniel Kahneman and Yuval Harari over at Edge, in which Harari discusses the possible futures for mankind. The debate is approx 45m long but is well worth listening to.

One of the strands of thought is that as ever greater amounts of production is taken over by more efficient artifical intelligences (think machines and software), civilisation will be left with a rump of useless humans,who will have to find meaning outside of the workplace. Where will they turn? Harari has a stab at an answer: 'My best guess at present is a combination of drugs and computer games as a solution for most ... it's already happening. Under different titles, different headings, you see more and more people spending more and more time, or solving their inner problems with drugs and computer games, both legal drugs and illegal drugs.' If you look at the development of immersive gaming technologies like virtual reality headsets, it's easy to picture a world where actual reality appears less and less attractive to a disenfranchised populous. Simply put, the incentive to plug yourself into alternative realities is just going to keep growing.

No comments: