Book Review #17: Homo Deus
Updated: Oct 16, 2020
"Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow", by Yuval Noah Harari.
One word review: Conjectural!
Did you know?
Homo Deus has been translated into 40 languages as of 2020.
Homo Deus is the second book in the Sapiens series. While Sapiens focused on how humans evolved as a community from ancient foragers and crawlers into modern day dominant intellectuals ruling over the planet, Homo Deus concentrates on the near future of planet Earth: What's the agenda of modern humans? Where are we heading to? What are all the possible implications that we would be facing? etc.
Similar to the book Sapiens, there are lot of interesting facts to read from this book as well; well-kempt lawns denoted rich status symbol, Clever Hans - the German horse which knew mathematics, Organisms are nothing but advanced algorithms, etc. The contents of the book are structured and coherent, serving an edifying read.
Would it be okay, for example, for an artificial intelligence to exploit humans and even kill them to further its own needs and desires? If it should never be allowed to do that, despite its superior intelligence and power, why is it ethical for humans to exploit and kill pigs?
Most of the discussions presented in the book are speculations based on existing facts available in the 21st century. Conjectures about where is modern healthcare and robotics are racing forward were both astounding and unnerving to read. Some of the main arguments showcased were - How would artificial intelligence treat humans in the future? Would the purpose of modern medicine will be focused to cure diseases and promote equality or something else? Who are Super-humans and what are they capable of? These imaginative hypotheses were amusing to read.
The book is over 400 pages in length and I never got bored of reading it. Moreover, I read Sapiens in 2019, Homo Deus in 2020, and eyeing to read the third installment, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century in 2021.
Homo Deus is one of the main references for my science-fiction novella 2100. Do check out the novella here.