THE NATIONAL

Author Yuval Noah Harari warns AI will make us 'intolerant' of fellow humans

Israeli author Yuval Noah Harari sat down with The National's Rosemary Barton to promote his recently released book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, and argued that AI excels at what humans do not — its singular ability to understand other humans.

Artificial intelligence can 'care about us so much more than the average human'

Yuval Harari on why we need to talk about the future of artificial intelligence 1:28

What if artificial intelligence is too good for our own good?

Israeli author Yuval Noah Harari sat down with The National's Rosemary Barton to promote his recently released book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, and warned that AI may eventually replace our fellow humans in our day-to-day relationships because it excels at what humans do not — understanding us.

  • Watch Rosemary Barton's full interview with Yuval Noah Harari tonight on The National at 9 p.m. ET on CBC News Network

He uses the example of going to the doctor.

"First of all, it's not always easy to know how the patient feels — if you're a human you rely on all kinds of external signals like what you say in the tone of voice and facial expression, but it's limited," he said. "Secondly, the doctor has her own emotions — maybe she just had a big fight with her husband in the morning and she's busy reconstructing this fight and she can't really bother because you're too much.

"It will never happen [to AI] because the AI has no husband, has no feelings of its own — it's completely attuned to you."

Harari says humans may become increasingly reliant on AI because it dependably, efficiently and singularly solves our problems. He points to the science fiction movie Her, wherein a man falls in love with an AI woman, as a possible example of AI replacing human relationships.

"People usually fear that that computer will not care about us, but actually the problem might be the opposite," he said.

"They really care about us so much more than the average human, that we will be very intolerant of most human relationships."