In a tech world

By Wang Kaihao | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-26 08:04

In a tech world

Yuval Noah Harari, author. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The Chinese version of his new book, revealing the threats posed by technology, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, was recently published by China CITIC Press. People may see Harari as someone who has turned from being a historian and a best-selling author to a fortuneteller.

But Harari says he cannot predict the future.

"Today it is more difficult than ever before because of the rapid pace of technological development," Harari says.

"If you lived in China in 1017, you knew that by 1050 ... the Khitans might invade from the north. It was clear to you that even in 1050 most Chinese would still work as farmers, and men would still dominate women," he further explains.

"Today, we have no idea how China or the rest of the world will look in 2050. We don't know what people will do for a living. We don't know what gender relations will be like.

"In the past, humans had the power to change the world outside them. Humans could change the geography by building cities. They could change the economy by inventing the steam engine or by importing potatoes from America to China.

"Ancient wisdom about the basic bodily and mental patterns of human beings remained very relevant for thousands of years."

Nevertheless, he believes biotechnology and artificial intelligence are making the human body undergo an unprecedented revolution.

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