When Henry Kissinger first met the former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, he told him that “Google is a threat to civilization as I understand it.” The two of them, together with the MIT computer scientist Daniel Huttenlocher, subsequently coauthored The Age of AI, in which they explore the ramifications of artificial intelligence. The advent of this technology, in Kissinger’s formulation, signals the end of the age of reason that began in the 17th century, and the start of something new. In conversation with Roger Hertog, the three address the ethical, philosophical, geopolitical, and even religious implications of these new frontiers in computing.
At one point, Hertog poses the question, “Isn’t it possible that with the end of the age of reason, and a new intellectual force in our lives—artificial intelligence—that humankind will search for meaning in their lives, and maybe find it, in a newfound belief in God or religion?” To which Kissinger replies that such an outcome is “probable.” (Video, about 90 minutes.)
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