Does Artificial Intelligence Herald a New Era in Human History? And What Will This New Era Bring?

Dec. 20 2021

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.)

Read more at Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center

More about: Artifical Intelligence, History, Religion, Technology, U.S. Security

Strengthening the Abraham Accords at Sea

In an age of jet planes, high-speed trains, electric cars, and instant communication, it’s easy to forget that maritime trade is, according to Yuval Eylon, more important than ever. As a result, maritime security is also more important than ever. Eylon examines the threats, and opportunities, these realities present to Israel:

Freedom of navigation in the Middle East is challenged by Iran and its proxies, which operate in the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Persian Gulf, and recently in the Mediterranean Sea as well. . . . A bill submitted to the U.S. Congress calls for the formulation of a naval strategy that includes an alliance to combat naval terrorism in the Middle East. This proposal suggests the formation of a regional alliance in the Middle East in which the member states will support the realization of U.S. interests—even while the United States focuses its attention on other regions of the world, mainly the Far East.

Israel could play a significant role in the execution of this strategy. The Abraham Accords, along with the transition of U.S.-Israeli military cooperation from the European Command (EUCOM) to Central Command (CENTCOM), position Israel to be a key player in the establishment of a naval alliance, led by the U.S. Fifth Fleet, headquartered in Bahrain.

Collaborative maritime diplomacy and coalition building will convey a message of unity among the members of the alliance, while strengthening state commitments. The advantage of naval operations is that they enable collaboration without actually threatening the territory of any sovereign state, but rather using international waters, enhancing trust among all members.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Abraham Accords, Iran, Israeli Security, Naval strategy, U.S. Foreign policy