Book Review: Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari

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Homo Deus

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Book reviews are helpful in many ways. One, they give us an idea of what to expect before we spend our money and two, they are fun to read to get other’s thoughts and opinions. With that being said, we hope you enjoy this Homo Deus book review.

Background of the Book

Homo Deus is a novel that reflects how humans run the world and how society has been impacted by its choices. The author, Yuval Noah Harari, incorporates the history of famine and current day homelessness to make his points about how culture has changed as a whole and no longer affected by natural disaster in the way it used to be.

Not only does the novel touch on society’s dealings with natural disasters, but also gives insight on how we deal with ideology and the different gods that we worship in our lives. In the novel, it is recommended for us to forget these gods and go with our intuition about situations because this is best.

To conclude, the book ends with telling us what the future is predicted to be like with the technology we have today. These data basis will continue to learn our every move and become more intelligent than ever before. They will start replacing many workers and leave people without jobs, however, they will still be helpful tools. That will lead to algorithms being able to tell us about our health, DNA defects, and other useful information.

A Piece of Writing That Will Make You Think About Today’s Society

You never realize how much the world has changed until someone lays out the difference as it is done in this book. It gives insight on how technology is using algorithms to collect our data to understand us better and provide more accurate recommendations. These AI such as Google eventually makes us start to distrust our intuition because the AIs are usually more accurate than the average human mind.

The book also gives comparisons to the past for a better understanding of where we have come from to where we are going. Famine was the primary natural disaster to compare the abundance of food we have today. It was stated that even if someone is homeless, they still have a less likely chance of dying from hunger than people in the 1600s struck by famine.

In this novel, it addresses how society should take into consideration what god means and take control of their own lives. Those who are religious may not agree with this sentiment as god is the center of the world to them, but for those who aren’t this will be an empowering statement that makes people want to take charge and stop making excuses.

Harari as an Insightful Author

Picture Yuval Noah Harari

Yuval Noah Harari has an interesting take on what it means to be a member of society and how AI influences it. You can tell that he really thought out the points of the book and addressed many of the ethical issues we face on a daily basis.

His points on taking the lead in your life and how AI is better than your own intuition make you reconsider the actions and steps you need to consider moving forward. He really knows how to get you thinking more in-depth about everyday activities or items we take for granted.

Top 5 Takeaways

1. Biological Engineering

We can see biological engineering already starting to happen with items like antidepressants and invitro. Harari argues that using these methods is creating an elite class of people to improve health. Doing this could create an unhealthy relationship between humans because we may see the other as less worthy.

2. Chemical Processes and Algorithms

We are now to the age where we are able to find out things about people through technology and DNA. Harari’s stance is that we process our thoughts chemically and through algorithms. He shows how these algorithms are replicated by artificial intelligence or AI.

3. AI will remove the need for Humans

Picture Artificial Intelligence
Picture Artificial Intelligence

Due to artificial intelligence ability to be more efficient at creating and understanding algorithms, Harari believes that they will soon replace the human role specifically in jobs. We see scientist trying to make ‘smart’ cars that drive themselves and have AIs like Alexa and Siri to guide us daily. It makes us think if AIs start to take over entirely what will be available for the mass public to do.

4. Learning How to Learn

If you’re not wanting to become one of the useless class of people, then you have to learn how to learn. Knowledge has always been seen as power, and that will never change. Being able to reinvent ourselves and be a quick learner will help you sustain and have a social advantage.

5. Data Age (the age of Data)

Data is creating a lack of needing to be conscious of what’s around you and living day to day because of the algorithms that have been and are being designed. Having a disconnect between your intelligence and the world means that there is more power being given to artificial intelligence. However, it doesn’t say there isn’t any hope for mankind.

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Yuval Noah Harari’s stance doesn’t stop at Homo Deus. In fact, Homo Deus is his second book! His other to novels, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, also dive into his thoughts about society’s role and how our decisions affect the world we live in. We recommend that you even read the other two books to get a full understanding of the author’s stance.

Would I recommend the Book Homo Deus?

So, do I recommend the book? Yes, of course! The novel is intriguing and is exceptionally detailed as it is insightful on what society is like and headed to. I enjoyed reading about how AI is playing a role in our daily lives and potentially taking over. I think that the author had high points and inspired me to take action over my life through feelings and trust AI for simple things like directions to complex DNA decisions.

Homo Deus is a book that all will enjoy and gain insights from, whether you believe in what the author is saying or not. The book definitely puts daily circumstances into perspective and makes you realize that you are more fortunate than you may have thought. I’m recommending Homo Deus to anyone who wants a different take on what life means and society’s influence.

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