"Homo Deus" by Prof. Yuval Noah Harari - Is consciousness the future skill against computers and AI?

Prof. Yuval Noah Harari is the author of the international bestseller Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. 

Below are quotations from his site.


He was born in Haifa, Israel, in 1976. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Oxford in 2002, and is now a lecturer at the Department of History, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


He specialized in World History, medieval history and military history. His current research focuses on macro-historical questions: What is the relation between history and biology? What is the essential difference between Homo sapiens and other animals? Is there justice in history? Does history have a direction? Did people become happier as history unfolded?


Sapiens explained how humankind came to rule the planet.


We humans control the world because we live in a dual reality. All other animals live in an objective reality. Their reality consists of objective entities, like rivers and trees and lions and elephants. We humans, we also live in an objective reality. In our world, too, there are rivers and trees and lions and elephants. But over the centuries, we have constructed on top of this objective reality a second layer of fictional reality, a reality made of fictional entities, like nations, like gods, like money, like corporations. And what is amazing is that as history unfolded, this fictional reality became more and more powerful so that today, the most powerful forces in the world are these fictional entities. Today, the very survival of rivers and trees and lions and elephants depends on the decisions and wishes of fictional entities, like the United States, like Google, like the World Bank -- entities that exist only in our own imagination.

Homo Deus examines our future. It blends science, history, philosophy, and every discipline in between, offering a vision of tomorrow that at first seems incomprehensible but soon looks undeniable: humanity will soon lose not only its dominance, but its very meaning. And we shouldn’t wait around for the resistance, either – while our favourite science fiction trope sees humans battling machines in the name of freedom and individualism, in reality these humanist myths will have long been discarded, as obsolete as cassette tapes or rain dances. This may sound alarming, but change is always frightening.


Over the past century, humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague and war. Today, more people die from obesity than from starvation; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed in war. We are the only species in earth’s long history that has single-handedly changed the entire planet, and we no longer expect any higher being to shape our destinies for us.


Success breeds ambition, and humankind will next seek immortality, boundless happiness and divine powers of creation. But the pursuit of these very goals will ultimately render most human beings superfluous. So where do we go from here? For starters, we can make today’s choices with our eyes wide open to where they are leading us. We cannot stop the march of history, but we can influence its direction.


Future-casting typically assumes that tomorrow, at its heart, will look much like today – we will possess amazing new technologies, but old humanist values like liberty and equality will still guide us. Homo Deus dismantles these assumptions and opens our eyes to a vast range of alternative possibilities, with provocative arguments on every page:

  • After four billion years of organic life, the era of inorganic life is now beginning.
  • The main products of the twenty-first century economy will not be textiles, vehicles and weapons, but bodies, brains and minds.
  • While the industrial revolution created the working class, the next big revolution will create the useless class.
  • The way humans have treated animals is a good indicator for how upgraded humans will treat the rest of us.
  • Radical Islam may fight rearguard actions, but the truly impactful religions will now emerge from Silicon Valley rather than the Middle East.
  • Democracy and the free market will both collapse once Google and Facebook know us better than we know ourselves, and authority shifts from individual humans to networked algorithms
  • We will knowingly renounce privacy in the pursuit of better health.
  • Humans won’t fight machines; they will merge with them. We are heading towards marriage rather than war.
  • Most of us will not get to decide how technology will affect our lives because most of us don’t understand it (how many of us voted on how the Internet would work?).

This is the shape of the new world, and the gap between those who get onboard and those left behind will be bigger than the gap between industrial empires and agrarian tribes, bigger even than the gap between Sapiens and Neanderthals.  This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.




Given the current pace of technological development, it is possible we destroy ourselves in some ecological or nuclear calamity. The more likely possibility is that we will use bioengineering and machine learning and artificial intelligence either to upgrade ourselves into a totally different kind of being or to create a totally different kind of being that will take over.
In any case, in 200 or 300 years, the beings that will dominate the Earth will be far more different from us than we are different from Neanderthals or from chimpanzees.

Intelligence is not consciousness. Intelligence is the ability to solve problems. Consciousness is the ability to feel things. In humans and other animals, the two indeed go together. The way mammals solve problems is by feeling things. Our emotions and sensations are really an integral part of the way we solve problems in our lives. However, in the case of computers, we don't see the two going together.

Over the past few decades, there has been immense development in computer intelligence and exactly zero development in computer consciousness. There is absolutely no reason to think that computers are anywhere near developing consciousness. They might be moving along a very different trajectory than mammalian evolution. In the case of mammals, evolution has driven mammals toward greater intelligence by way of consciousness, but in the case of computers, they might be progressing along a parallel and very different route to intelligence that just doesn't involve consciousness at all.
We may find ourselves in a world with nonconscious super intelligence. The big question is not whether the humans will fall in love with the robots or whether the robots will try to kill the humans. The big question is how does a world of nonconscious super intelligence look? Because we've absolutely nothing in history that prepares us for such a scenario.




What explains the rise of humans? 

Yuval Harari on why humans won’t dominate Earth in 300 years


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『人工知能と経済の未来 -2030年雇用大崩壊』by 井上智洋 (文春新書)





2030年頃から 第4次産業革命 汎用AI・ロボットの進行

2045年頃には 純粋機械化経済の到来 (上の図の下側)


「純粋機械化経済」では、労働が必要なくなり、AIやロボットなどの機械のみが直接的な生産活動を担うようになります。機械が「生産の手段」から「生産の主役」になり代わるわけです。(p. 173)







それでも機械に奪われにくい仕事、として以下の三つの分野を筆者はあげています。(pp. 160-161 )


・creativity 系、創造性




Frey & Osborneの論文「雇用の未来」では人間に残される仕事のスキルとして、創造性と社会的知性(social intelligence)が挙げられています。






役に立つが故に価値あるものは、役に立たなくなった時点で価値を失う。(中略)会計士の資格は会計ソフトの普及で、運転免許はセルフドライビングカーの普及で、英会話能力は自動通訳機の普及で、有用ではなくなり、価値を失うかもしれません。(pp 236-237)




バタイユは「有用性」に「至高性」を対置させました。「至高性」は、役に立つと否に関わらず価値のあるものごとを意味します。 (p.237)










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Trump vs Sweden 日本の対応と比較して考えよう






トランプ大統領 vs スウェーデンの対立を日本と比較してみると興味深いです。





トランプ大統領は就任演説で "America First" と米国第一主義を宣言しました。








At a campaign-style rally in Florida on Saturday, Feb. 18th, President Trump issued a sharp critique of Europe’s refugee policies, ticking off a list of places that have been struck by terrorists. But he also mentioned Sweden, which has not been a target of recent terrorist attacks.


Trump appeared to be referring to recent terror attacks in Germany and elsewhere, but no such attack has occurred in Sweden.


Trump baffles Sweden with crime comment, says it was based on TV report


The Swedish embassy in Washington has asked the U.S. State Department for an explanation of a comment made by President Donald Trump that suggested there had been some sort of security incident in Sweden on Friday.
The Swedish embassy in the US says it "looks forward to informing the US administration" about immigration policy, after President Donald Trump insinuated that a non-existent incident had taken place in the Nordic nation – based on something he saw on TV.
While the Swedes are still scratching their heads over the US president's comments, some Trump supporters believe the media is “intent on covering up what migrants have done to Sweden.
Here's how Swedes are reacting to President Donald J. Trump's recent comment
A White House spokesperson said Trump was referring generally to rising crime in Sweden—but crime in the country has actually fallen since 2005.
Sweden's Prime Minister responds.

2/18日のトランプ大統領のスウェーデンについての発言(移民難民受け入れの結果を見ろ!)のベースになったAmi Horowitzのドキュメンタリーです。 (FOX)

Remarks by President Trump at the Conservative Political Action Conference


”As part of my pledge to restore safety for the American people, I have also directed the defense community to develop a plan to totally obliterate ISIS. (Applause.) Working with our allies, we will eradicate this evil from the face of the Earth. (Applause.)


At the same time, we fully understand that national security begins with border security.  Foreign terrorists will not be able to strike America if they cannot get into our country.  (Applause.)  And by the way, take a look at what's happening in Europe, folks.  Take a look at what's happening in Europe.  I took a lot of heat on Sweden.  (Laughter.)  And then a day later, I said, has anybody reported what's going on?  And it turned out that they didn't -- not too many of them did.  (Laughter.)  Take a look at what happened in Sweden.  I love Sweden.  Great country.  Great people.  I love Sweden.  But they understand I'm right.  The people over there understand I'm right.  Take a look at what's happening in Sweden.  Take a look at what's happening in Germany.  Take a look at what's happened in France.  Take a look at Nice and Paris. 

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やはり共通の関心? それさえあれば、距離も時差も関係のない時代、といいうのを実感させられた今朝のやりとりでした。

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Took part in "smile coaching" course and now I am a certified "smile coaching" facilitator!


"smile coaching" is a 2 hour workshop course to pull out and exploit smiles and potentials from each other.


"smile coaching" was designed and developed by Professor Masato Honma and offered by NPO Hello Dream.


Among others Sanrio Inc. that markets Hello Kitty supports NPO Hello Dream as a CSR activity.


The works contain for example,


1) smile with each other

2) hero smile interview

3) "switches" of smiles  - brainstorming


We were some 15 participants and enjoyed really every minute of it!


I had not planned to take part in the afternoon session to be trained as a "smile coaching" facilitator but decided to join since I was so excited!   


Now I am a certified "smile coaching" facilitator and would like to hold "smile coaching" sessions in Scandinavia.


Everybody is interested to pull out and exploit smiles and potentials.   The courses can be targeted to school classes, office coworkers, families etc.  I am confident that sessions will contribute to bridge the cultural differences and encourage more communications by mixing both Japanese and non-Japanese.


Thank you, Hiroka Nakakura for recommending me to join "smile coaching" workshop. Visit Hiroka's blog that reports from the course.  Thank you, Keisuke Uchida sensei for the fantastic facilitation.


It was really another happy and memorable day.



七倉 廣香 (Hiroka Nanakura)さんのお誘いで偶然 "笑顔のコーチング" 研修に参加し、ただただ感動感銘でした。当初の予定を変更して午後も引き続き参加し、"笑顔のコーチング"ファシリテーター認定証を頂きました。


"笑顔のコーチング"を開発された 本間 正人 (Homma Masato)先生の活動には注目させて頂いておりました。


内田 圭介 (Keisuke Uchida)シニアファシリテーターによれば、これまで海外での笑顔のコーチング講座は、タイやイギリスで開催されているとのことですが、現地在住の日本人が対象だったとのこと。










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就任演説で "America First" と米国第一主義を宣言しました。






”無償の経済活動が貨幣経済を脅かす” (Alvin Toffler)、社会的企業、パラレルキャリア、プロボノ、などがキーワードになっています。


スウェーデンの著名なスピーカーChrister Olssonさんのスピーチに感銘を受けたのを思い出しました。


・時代は情報社会から〈信頼社会 Trust society〉に移行している。組織内、組織外の信頼が大切な時代である。そして信頼をゲットするためには、①能力と②思いやり、の2つが大切な要因である。






・少し遠いお店でも思いやってくれ気の合う店員がいるのでわざわざ買い物に行くことがありますか?  →       80%の回答者がはい、と答えた。

・少し値段が高いお店でも思いやってくれ気の合う店員がいるのでわざわざ買い物に行くことがありますか? → 70%の回答者がはい、と答えた。

・スウェーデンの大企業の購入担当者に〈セールス担当が気に入ったので、ベストではない案を採用したことがありますか?〉 全員がはい、と答えたそうです。









トランプ大統領の政策について日本の要人のコメントには ”今後を注視する必要がある” と消極的なものが多いようです。








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Lifelong learning by the Economist (2017-01-14)

This issue of the Economist features a very important problem even for Japan according to my views.



 WHEN education fails to keep pace with technology, the result is inequality. Without the skills to stay useful as innovations arrive, workers suffer—and if enough of them fall behind, society starts to fall apart.


Today robotics and artificial intelligence call for another education revolution. This time, however, working lives are so lengthy and so fast-changing that simply cramming more schooling in at the start is not enough. People must also be able to acquire new skills throughout their careers.



It is easy to say that people need to keep learning throughout their careers. The practicalities are daunting.



The Economist picks up for example Massive open online courses (MOOCs) as a good example to cope with this problem.


Universities in Japan have big problems to recruit students.  Numbers of 18 years olders are shrinking (The problem of 2018).


Maybe the only and right way for universities in Japan might be to prepare for "Lifelong learning" .


Pushing people into ever-higher levels of formal education at the start of their lives is not the way to cope. Just 16% of Americans think that a four-year college degree prepares students very well for a good job.



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日本人のコミュニケーション Communication of Japanese

私の尊敬するファシリテーションの先生、NECO塾塾長の岡山 洋一先生が個人通信第65号 (2017年1月12日) で以下のような興味深いコミュニケーション論を展開されています。  
自分の考えていることと相手の考えていることは本質的に異質であるという前提があったからこそ、コミュニケーションの必要性が生まれたのである。相手を説得しようとする努力はなくとも心で通じるというような恵まれた環境から英語は生まれてきたのではない。その証拠に、コミュニケーションに該当する日本語はごく最近までなかった。わが国の英語教育の目標にもコミュニケーションという基本的な概念すら入っていない。(松本道弘『私はこうして英語を学んだ 増補改訂版』(中村堂、2014年)223~224ページ)
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NIPPONのブランドイメージ -世界で、そしてスウェーデンで Images of Japan - in the world and in Sweden

Reputation Instituteの国の評判ランキング(2016年6月)によれば、スウェーデンがトップ、日本は14位でした。(2015年は16位)


FutureBrandのCountry Brand Index 2014-15 では日本が初めてトップにランクされ、注目されました。











中国 (70%)
日本 (35%)

インド (18%)

タイ (14%)
韓国 (5%)
シンガポール (1%)
インドネシア (1%)


①とても親しみを感じる (3%)
②どちらかというと親しみを感じる (15%)
③どちらかというと親しみを感じない (36%)
④親しみを感じない (33%)
⑤わからない (12%)



技術力の高い国 (79%)
豊かな伝統と文化を持つ国 (72%)

自然の美しい国 (53%)

アニメ・ファッション、料理など新しい文化を発信する国 (39%)

平和で安全な国 (37%)

欧米志向の国 (36%)
経済力を持った大国 (32%)
かっこいい(Coolな)国 (20%)
自由で民主的な国 (19%)

世界の文化においてリーダーシップを有する国 (8%)
世界の政治においてリーダーシップを有する国 (6%)

特にイメージはない (5%)
上記のどれでもない (1%)
わからない (4%)













デンマークからの 研修生ヘンリク・ブラントさんは「日本での生活に慣れるにつれてデンマークとの差は小さくなる一方」と感じていました。イェンス・ビトラップさんも「出る釘は打たれる」と言うデンマークの「ヤンテの法則」を例にとり、日本との共通点を強調しました。  













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フィンランドで始まったベーシックインカムの実験 Finland began experiment of basic income system









1) 働き方の変化に対応するために福祉制度はどのように変化すべきかを探る

2) より多くの国民が社会的に参加し、働く意欲を高めるためのセーフティネットをどのようにつくるか?

3) ベーシックインカムは官僚主義を少なくし、複雑な補助金制度を簡略化できるか?


フィンランドのテレビ局yleはベーシックインカムを受け取ることになったJuha Järvinenさん( Kurikka在住) とのインタビューを紹介しています。






NEWS PICKSの森川潤記者は”「全員に金を配る」。壮大な社会実験が始まった”と称する記事の中で世界的に注目されている背景として以下の二つをあげています。


 ① 社会保障の限界:生活保護や年金、失業保険など、20世紀を支えてきた社会保障がどんどん複雑化し、限界を迎えていること。
 ② テクノロジーの発展:人工知能(AI)や、機械の自動化の進展で、人間が完全雇用を維持するのが難しくなっていること。
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