World Economic Forum lead advisor and klaus Schwab’s right-hand man, Yuval Noah Harari, predicts humans would need to “relearn how to see and walk” in a digital virtual reality future absent from the “physical and biological” world.
Harari’s gloomy prediction came during a discussion with podcaster Tom Bilyeu published earlier this week.
The WEF adviser noted humanity’s capacity for change and abstract thinking in his vision of a technologically driven dystopian world confined within the virtual reality framework.
Harari said that people would need to “let go” of the human experience and embrace a virtual reality world where they would need to relearn how to see and walk.
“Maybe the most important quality to survive and flourish in the 21st century is to have mental flexibility — not just to keep learning and changing again and again — [but] also to keep letting go,” Harari said.
“Part of what makes it difficult to learn new things [is] that we hold on. … I’llI’ll give an example of how deep it goes: it’s not just what you learned in college or what you learned in kindergarten; it’s even what you learned as a baby, as a toddler, like learning how to see or learning how to walk,” he added.
“But what does it mean that I have to relearn how to see and walk? As virtual reality improves — and with all the talk of the Metaverse and so forth, which we will discuss later on — increasingly, it’s likely that [there] will be many more activities shifting from the physical biological world that we know into a new reality — a virtual reality — which has different physical and biological laws,” he continued.
“Can we as humans just shift to the immaterial realm of the Metaverse and leave our biological bodies behind? Or is it impossible or even dangerous to try and separate our kind of mental existence from our bodily and physical existence?” he asked.
Bilyeu alluded to the centrality of physicality to the human condition while considering a technologically-driven attempt to divorce humanity from physical existence.
“I am very grounded in biology,” he stated.
“Will it be interesting for an entirely virtual species to inhabit [virtual reality]? Maybe that could be cool, but that doesn’t help us. So even people thinking about uploading their consciousness — I’veI’ve thought through that one a lot — it would be a copy of me, but it wouldn’t be me.”
He continued, “So all of this sadness of death that I would be hoping to avoid by doing that doesn’t help. Maybe it kind of gives the same sense of having a kid, but it wouldn’t by any means save me from having to deal with death.”
In August last year, Harari said humans would soon be rendered economically and militarily “redundant.”
“We just don’t need the vast majority of the population,” he said during an interview with Chris Anderson, the head of TED.