A New Dawn Of Technological Prophets & Techno-Sophists (Sons of the Sages)
From the Book: The Garden of Wisdom – Lessons We & AI Can Learn From The Bible
The day will come when computers and software – “learning machines” – will increase their capabilities on the human brain. How to prepare for tomorrow?
All human beings naturally aspire to knowledge. The basic desire to understand: who I am, where I belong, and what is my place here on earth are common to all people and across cultures, religions and social classes. The success of man as an individual, on the philosophical level, is measured by his ability to reach that “wisdom” through the universal truths. As a society, the collective genius is like the seed that will sprout and develop the flower of knowledge and of redemption; the same knowledge that solves society from suffering and from political, economic and social distress – The same knowledge to take us to new places across the galaxy and within us.
Today, in the era of digital humanities, with technological development, the individual is able to engage more in the creative world. AI, together with the crowd wisdom, will occupy important places in the shaping of our world and will enable the individual to reach that freedom to deal with spiritual matters – the worlds of creation, wisdom, intelligence and knowledge.
The greatest threat to the intellectual development of any person, society, culture or people is his prejudices and habits. Man tends to believe in the opinions he is used to. Humans are pushing off a new kind of food, and for the same reason they are pushing new opinions. The psychological cost of abandoning an opinion or converting it to another is too difficult.
- Should I become a vegan?
- Should I connect with a complete stranger on the social network?
- Is it right to let unions and companies trade my personal information for the flow of data?
Adaptation to the new global age requires the individual to disengage from his intellectual habits and prejudices and join the current. Prof. Harari writes that just as the tribes along the Yellow River united into a nation, they learned to control and master the river. No longer each tribe, is forced to surrender itself to the river and the natural elements, because of floods and damage. Yes, in the era of progress, we must unite so that we can control the technological river and route it wisely.
One of the prejudices then and now is that prophecy is a miracle, is a kind of transcendence outside the laws of nature. Is that so? Both according to Aristotle and Maimonides, prophecy is the embodiment of human perfection; it is a spiritual achievement of man.
Have you seen a modern prophet?
In order to answer this question, we must first understand – who is a prophet?
On first thought it seems that a prophet is a kind of futurist, strategist and even a science fiction writer. If so, what is the difference between a technological prophet and a futurist? The prophet (also called “the seer”, “visionary”), in ancient times, was a person on a high spiritual level who would communicate with some god. To the Prophet came people who wanted to consult in connection with their destiny or future, things in the present, or for receiving support and mental assistance. Often kings would hold in their court, a special prophet who advised them strategically. Prophet in the New Age is much more than a modern futurist. As in earlier periods, his personality should be merging three types of perfection: virtue, wisdom, and imagination. When these three integrals merge into his personality, his measures are balanced, his imaginative power is powerful, and his intelligence is complete. The prophet is the merging of the tzadik, an artist and a philosopher. This person, who brought all the wealth of his personality to full realization, will reach the prophetic experience, so it is quite possible that in the future one AI futurist or another will receive the same ‘spiritual-technological enlightenment’ and fit the definition of a technological prophet and that futurism will be a common profession.
Prophecy is the result of two forces – the force of speculation (pre-normal intuition) and the simulated power (translating new knowledge through imagination). Biblical prophecy is usually presented by a prophet who transmits it as a monologue to the people, when it is merely an intelligent interpretation of the prophet’s vision of his spirit, mind, or dream. For example, the existence of an AI or a collective in combination with AI, which have computational abilities whose purpose is prophecy, is that, unlike the weather forecast, here too one must combine imaginative ability through techniques of creative thinking and guided imagery (e.g., change of perception, A combinatorial game, Edison, Koinonia, Leonardo de Vinci, etc.) Will this be the beginning of a new society?
Religion – a prophet
Science – futuristic
What is actually science or religion? These are attempts to put things in order. Build a frame, a pattern, which will give an explanation and logic to the world. In religion it is divine logic. In science it is logic of legitimacy. For example, the idea of redemption has been prevalent in religious thought throughout history and has instilled a sense of anticipation in the minds of many. According to Maimonides (Guide for the Perplexed) the reason for the disappearance of evil and the appearance of good is: Enlightenment. The history of humanity is a history of violent outbursts, while the spread of knowledge will end the era of hatred, violence and wars. Yes, Prof. Harari brings us the same message, albeit in a more up-to-date language and in the name of a new religion – the “data religion“. This religion promises to improve our lives, from the convenience of a refrigerator that communicates with the supermarket to the prevention of pandemics and cancer – happier and more intelligent forever, but on condition that we dedicate the highest value to the flow of information.
Like other successful religions, the data religion is also a missionary religion. Therefore it is a mitzvah to connect not only myself to the system, but to try to connect everyone, including those who do not want (as in the case of WikiLeaks). And “everyone” does not mean only human beings, but everything. Not only my computer and my body, but also the car, the house, the street, the city where I live, the kids and even the pet should be connected to the Internet-of-everything, to receive and transmit information to all other things. We should not leave even one small corner that is not connected.
If a prophet is a man who is ready to be humiliated as long as the truth is disseminated in public, then the sons of the sages are the ones who have a great thirst for the words of those prophets. They will be university students or followers of the TED lecture community. In fact, as we gather more and more data, we must learn to deepen our critical thinking skills. The transition from gathering data to asking the right questions with a real aim to understand them is not simple at all. It also seems that we will always seek meaning in the ‘noise of information‘ and that data itself is of no value unless it is used in some way to the benefit of humanity.
Why, then, do we need them, these AI, technological prophets, and those groups of scholars who delve into the dangers of new and predictive technologies?
Throughout the history of mankind our ancestors have faced dangers: pandemics, storms, earthquakes and man-made disasters. But this century is different. Is the first century in which one species, our species, can determine the fate of the planet, threaten civilization and endanger the existence of future generations.
Today, the totality of wisdom and knowledge accumulated by the human race is accessible to all people at all times. But what use does one make of it in its every daily life?
True, not yet enough! And correctly, the individual is not the whole.
As for the individual, his desire is to understand better, to be better and to succeed, but even more so since man is a social intelligent being. One of the deepest needs of human beings is the need to be seen and to belong; it seems that the more we increase the sense of belonging we will be able to succeed more. People need to be noticed and communicated with. This need, which is provided to the children by their parents, does not disappear after they mature. God is the most valued entity in the cosmos. The thought that God thinks and watches over us is one of the deepest needs of the religious soul. In contrast, in the modern age, which believes less and less in that entity, will the AI in the cloud, together with the collective genius, replace God’s position? Can they better analyze all existing information and predict the future of humankind? What does this mean?
Although the connection to the biblical God is direct, it happens that this biblical God chose to communicate back through unique individuals, with them and with them alone he made dialogues and communicated back to the people. Therefore, just as a person needs God, He needs those chosen to represent him in the face of that God and translate and communicate its intention. Did the message successfully communicated? Were they always true prophets? If so, how to maintain the credibility of that connection? Because if we look back in time it seems that throughout history each religion provided its answers. Over time, these answers were eroded and used to suppress instead of being used for liberation. Science has presented us with new answers (and new questions). It changed our perception of ourselves, our place in the world, and our relationship with our surroundings. These answers freed us from tyranny but plunged us into another, more covert tyranny (the tyranny of information, the numbers, the measurement, the loneliness.) Even now our lack of knowledge does not interfere the data religion spreading in the world.
What is the next evolutionary step? We’ll probably need a new perspective. This point of view cannot be a single viewpoint but a collective one of the collective genius and with combination of the crowd wisdom. We have reached a place where we can no longer believe single points of view. The new place would have to be a place of multiplicity and new connections. It will contain the scientific confirmation along with the religious experience. It will allow us to see things from several angles at the same time.
As we join together, forming networks of human concern about the future, we will find the strength and wisdom needed to create a better future for all.
Raising humanity on a new path
It all starts with YOU!
With playful regards,