This leads us to our final recommendation:
Adapt to what comes next or become obsolete.
In this module, we’re going to look at the
big picture for AI and humanity.
Our timeframe will extend out beyond our careers,
into retirement, and beyond.
Were also going to get a bit more philosophical
However, we’ll keep things practical by learning
how you can adapt
to whatever comes next to avoid becoming obsolete.
What becomes obsolete vs. what becomes the
Why do some aspects of society disappear into
while others become so common that we take
them for granted?
During the previous technological revolutions, some things become obsolete while others become the norm?
During the Agricultural revolution, hunter-gatherers
and nomadic tribes became obsolete
while farmers and cities became the norm.
During the Industrial revolution, slave labor
and draft animals became obsolete
while factory workers and industrial machines
became the norm.
During the Information revolution human computers
and analog data became obsolete
while office workers and digital computers
became the norm.
During the AI revolution, the question naturally
which parts of our world will become obsolete
vs. what new things will become the norm?
No matter how things play out over the next
few years, in the long run,
there are really only three likely paths forward
AI and humanity peacefully co-exist
AI destroys humanity (if we don’t accidentally
destroy ourselves first).
Or AI and humanity eventually merge
and become one-in-the-same.
If you really think about it, there really
aren’t any other real possibilities in the long run.
Given humanity’s historical track record
(in similar situations),
it’s unlikely that humans will be able to
peacefully co-exist with AI forever.
We’ve simply seen too many past scenarios
where a sufficiently advanced civilization
displaced the indigenous population.
It’s actually much more likely that we will
either destroy ourselves first
or AI will eventual displaces humanity.
This might be good for AI but it would definitely
be bad news for us humans.
So given these three options, the most realistic
and hopeful path forward for humanity
is that we eventually merge with our technology.
Essentially, we merge to the extent that humanity
and our technology become indistinguishable.
This idea may seem far fetched now but these
cell phones in our hands
are already an extension of our brains.
And the younger generation is ready and willing
to have them directly connected to their minds
if and when the technology becomes available.
In many ways, we’re already augmenting our
human bodies and minds
with man-made technologies on a daily basis.
For example: wearable devices, artificial
contact lenses, hearing aids, and more.
In the next decade and beyond, it’s likely
that we’ll be even more deeply
and continuously connected to our technology.
For example, coming soon are: light-weight
implantable IoT devices, and eventually
It may sounds strange, but we are likely one
of the last generations of homo sapiens
to inhabit the Earth.
Whatever comes next will likely be very different
from what we’ve known for the past 200,000 years.
How do you adapt to what comes next to avoid
What should you be doing today to prepare
for whatever comes next?
First, embrace change.
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously
said: “Change is the only constant in life.”
Technically, he actually said “panta rhei”
which translates to “everything flows”,
but I think you get the point.
If you fight change, you will continuously
struggle your entire life
as the world changes around you.
Not only will you struggle with change, but
you will inevitably lose every time.
If you embrace change, you can adapt to what
Adaptability is highly valuable from an evolutionary
This is why it is a key pillar of the
and of many philosophical and religious worldviews.
Second, be skeptical but not too skeptical.
In the post-truth era it’s really easy to
be duped into believing incorrect information.
Skepticism is the natural antidote to this
intellectual disease of modern society.
In addition, you need to be skeptical of your
own beliefs as well.
Always question and continually update your beliefs
based on new evidence as it becomes available.
This idea is the essence of the scientific method.
Third, keep an open mind.
One of the worst things we can do today is
get ourselves stuck in our own dogmatic worldview.
The information bubbles we create in our society
produce echo chambers
that reinforce our own confirmation bias.
So it’s important that you are constantly
confronted with alternative perspectives
to challenge your own beliefs.
Also, you need to keep an open mind when new information disagrees with your current beliefs.
It’s quite likely that a good portion of your
may become obsolete yet within your lifetime.
If you’re not sure what I mean, just ask your
how much the world has changed since they
Fourth, pick your battles wisely.
There are some things that you should
“stick to your guns” on
and others things that you should
be more flexible about.
Figure out what your core beliefs are and
fight for those beliefs when necessary.
However, be flexible and open-minded
about everything else.
Ultimately, when picking your battles, just
make sure you end up
on “the right side of history”.
Finally, be mindful.
Our brains evolved to survive in
a very different environment
than our modern technology-driven society.
As a result, much of our suffering today is
caused by this conflict
between human nature and our technology.
Mindfulness is how we minimize this suffering
and learn to peacefully co-exist with our technology.
Honestly, making the commitment to practice
is probably the smartest thing that I’ve done
in my adult life.
I highly recommend it to everyone.
So to recap our final recommendation:
adapt to what comes next or become obsolete.
but keep an open mind,
pick your battles wisely,
and be mindful.