WTF? What’s The Future and Why it’s up to us, by Tim O’Reilly

This is certainly one of the best books I’ve read on the subject of technology, the near future and its disruptions, how society will react, and the options it has to deal with the new age of machines and information.

The book is engaging, not technical, yet very detailed in its accounts of the emerging world run by algorithms, machines and information. One thing is certain. The change will be no less dramatic than the advent of farming. The industrial revolution will be looked at like a walk in the park when compared to what we have installed for us.

The author was very astute and realistic on the very near future. The upcoming technology revolution is a potent tool, that is a colossal magnifier. We should expect extreme growth and change on an unprecedented level. There is a great opportunity for abundance, but whether this abundance will enrich the very few or spread across society is the difference between a bright or gloomy future.

His proposition that we don’t have to be worried about a super artificial intelligence threat, because the “hybrid artificial intelligence” is not only here but will destroy society unless drastic changes are enacted is spot on, and can be seen by all.

The “Master algorithm of shareholder capitalism” is the hybrid entity that if not checked and amended quickly will destroy civilisation as we know it. It is the tragedy of the commons played out in a cosmic scale.

If things go well and we change and defeat this hybrid entity, we will be looking at a future brighter than history has ever seen. People will not have jobs. Not because they want them and there isn’t any, but because they have what they need and they can pursue life as it should be lived, the way they want it. “It is not Jobs that we need, it’s work” and we will have more than enough of that, correctly assumed by the author.

This book has reinvigorated me in ways that cannot be explained. It is especially soothing to the idealists that have lost hope in the midst of cynics, cheaters, and an unfair world that rewards the individual at the cost of many.

We will have everything to fear if Artificial Intelligence is built with the current narrow minded, and short sighted, goals of corporations to maximise profits at the cost of humanities future.

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