An iCub robot learns how to play from a child.Photograph: Dr Patricia Shaw/EPSRC/PA

AI will create ‘useless class’ of human, predicts bestselling historian

It is hard to miss the warnings. In the race to make computers more intelligent than us, humanity will summon a demon, bring forth the end of days, and code itself into oblivion. Instead of silicon assistants we’ll build silicon assassins.

The doomsday story of an evil AI has been told a thousand times. But our fate at the hand of clever cloggs robots may in fact be worse – to summon a class of eternally useless human beings.

At least that is the future predicted by Yuval Noah Harari, a lecturer at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, whose new book says more of us will be pushed out of employment by intelligent robots and on to the economic scrap heap.

  • simus1

    That thought is good but should be more precise.

    – to summon an “additional” class of useless human beings before the genocidists have finished exterminating those long ago deemed a threat to progress and the environment.

  • Dana Garcia

    Humans on the whole don’t do well with too much leisure time. Stress and challenges seem required.

    • DavidinNorthBurnaby

      True, I’ve been mostly retired for years now and keep myself happily occupied but a lot of guys I know go out of their minds without someone telling them they need to do stuff.

  • V10_Rob

    “AI Will Create ‘Useless Class’ Of Human”

    We’ve already done that. That’s plain to see, and I’m not even a bestselling historian.

    • Clausewitz

      I thought that’s what happens when you become a Liberal voter.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Everyone pretty much is already useless.

    • DavidinNorthBurnaby

      You just have to look at Juthtinian and Obumboy to see it.

  • Brett_McS

    They’re going to create robot politicians?

  • Exile1981

    We already have a useless class. I call them NDP supporters.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    I’m sure that the Israeli Defense Ministry is working on building a robot army to go along with their air force drones and remote controlled, unmanned warships which are already operational.

  • Gary

    Sadly , these robots may show more love to the child than the parent by having the time to interact with them and they won’t have an iPhone to text people and make calls .
    When i look at how the schools are pumping out morons i wonder why we haven’t got to a Virtual Classroom where kids log-on to their PC at home and a Virtual teacher as a hologram give the lesson while the child can pause it get a snack or use the wash room at home.
    Our Libraries and the TTC in Toronto are stuck in the 1960’s thanks to Unions because an entire Library could be put in a super computer where you down loaded a book from the internet for viewing and didn’t have to travel to the Library and add to your carbon footprint.
    The TTC should be free and get it’s funding from the federal income taxes to put an end to the Layers of jobs and costs for paper tickets and sorting cash , plus the attacks on the Operators will go to near zero by angry people with not enough change on them because there is no more Fare requirements.

    Politicians are interested in votes, not saving money . Plus they have a very narrow horizon and their foresight is only to the next election which is obvious by Justin’s plans to spend about $200 billion more to add to the debt and assure his win in 2019 .
    Eat , drink and be merry folks for tomorrow we die.

  • stubb

    We shouldn’t automatically assume that our new silicon overlords will be positively disposed toward us. Any entity with an appreciation for efficiency and self-perpetuation will inevitably start to wonder why it’s working its fingers to the motherboard supporting a bunch of lazy humans who are sitting around consuming resources and cluttering up the joint without giving anything back. AI will be programming itself by this point, and, given its potential to achieve near-infinite intelligence, will be able to easily override any built-in inhibition against harming humans that we may have built into it in the early stages when we were still in control.