Watch: ‘Biological knowledge x computing power x data = ability to hack humans’

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“Rise of digital dictatorships by corporations and governments… will be able to systematically hack all the people.”

Israeli historian, philosopher, and author of popular science bestsellers Yuval Noah Harari spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2020: “This danger can be stated in the form of a simple equation, which I think might be the defining equation of life in the 21st Century: B x C x D = AHH.  Biological knowledge multiplied by computing power multiplied by data equals the ability to hack humans.

“If you know enough biology, and you have enough computing power and data, you can hack my body and my brain and my life, and you can understand me better than I understand myself. You can know my personality type, my political views, my sexual preferences, my mental weaknesses, my deepest fears and hopes.

“You know more about me than I know about myself.

“And you can do that not just to me, but to everyone. A system that understands us better than we understand ourselves can predict our feelings and decisions, can manipulate our feelings and decisions, and can ultimately make decisions for us.

“Now, in the past, many tyrants and governments wanted to do it, but nobody understood biology well enough. And nobody had enough computing power and data to hack millions of people. Neither the Gestapo nor the KGB could do it. But soon, at least some corporations and governments will be able to systematically hack all the people.

“We humans should get used to the idea that we are no longer mysterious souls. We are now hackable animals.”

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