Abhijit BhaduriGuest Author

a16Z interviews Yuval Harari

By | Abhijit Bhaduri |Keynote speaker, Author and Columnist

I am a fan of podcasts, especially because I live in Bangalore. The traffic snarls of Bangalore are legendary. Since I drive myself, I would often find myself feeling upset and frustrated about the hours wasted. Going anywhere to anywhere seems to take multiples of 45 minutes. Then I discovered podcasts.

I started with the Freakonomics podcast and went through all of them. The podcast is based on a simple premise that everything can be looked at from the point of view of economics. What is the payoff and what can we do to the incentives to tweak outcomes. The host Steven Dubner holds “surprising conversations that explore the riddles of everyday life and the weird wrinkles of human nature—from cheating and crime to parenting and sports. Dubner talks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, social scientists and entrepreneurs — and his Freakonomics co-author Steve Levitt.” 

If you are interested in getting a quick update on cutting edge technology and ideas, don’t miss out on the podcast that goes by the name a16z. Here is one that is intriguingly titled Brains, Bodies, Minds & Techno-Religions. An interview with Yuval Harari, the author of the book Homo Deus explores several interesting questions. To begin with the books claims to be a brief “history of tomorrow”. That in itself is something to think about.

I like jot down key ideas when I listen to podcasts. The podcast explores some key shifts that are shaping our future. For example

  1. Our ability to create non-organic life forms
  2. Different body parts need not be co-located
  3. Fiction and illusion are becoming progressively more important

The podcast explores more provocative questions. With all the data that we are giving freely to Facebook and Amazon etc, one day they will be able to predict our tastes better than loved ones and maybe even better than what we can. What happens then?

We have to look at the issue of job losses not from one country’s perspective but from multiple perspectives. If the technology developed in say US, leads to job losses of factory in Bangladesh, who should compensate whom and by how much? Who will determine the level of compensation? How will AI impact the way schools are designed and structured? And of course, what happens when techno-religions gather more followers?

My sketchnote covers more questions.

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