Although still in its earliest stages, artificial intelligence (AI) is radically transforming all aspects of society. With the immanent emergence of Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI) and the illusory temptations of “transhumanism,” humankind stands at a crossroads. Nicanor Perlas makes an urgent plea in this book. It is imperative, he says, that we take immediate steps to ensure that digitized technology is aligned to human values and priorities. Otherwise, ASI will kill the essence of our humanity. Furthermore, if we do not master it now, ASI will transform humanity into its own image—ultimately, it will destroy the human race.
AI experts have not offered a single cogent solution to this existential threat. Rudolf Steiner, however, not only foresaw these developments, but also provided clear alternatives. Steiner—who developed a contemporary scientific approach to spirituality—provided philosophical, ontological, and social innovations to save humanity from this technological abyss. It is the task of the global anthroposophic movement to pioneer this civilization-saving work—to establish spiritual-scientific ideas in mainstream culture that would allow AI to emerge in a healthier societal context.
Perlas offers an overview of the AI phenomenon, together with its related transhuman concepts of “perfecting humanity,” outlining the critical internal and external responses needed to meet them consciously. In particular, the author addresses the movement connected to the work of Rudolf Steiner, indicating its all-important tasks to cooperate with progressive individuals and movements, including scientists and civil society activists; to mobilize its “daughter” movements for action; and, ultimately, to cooperate with the spiritual powers that have guided and served humanity since the dawn of time. This, says Perlas, is humanity’s last stand. Failure is not an option.
C O N T E N T S:
Part One: Brave New World of Artificial Intelligence
1. The World Is on Fire!
2. Utopia or Extinction?
3. Awakening to our True Humanity—the Way Out
Part Two: Preparing for Spiritual Battle
4. Spiritual Opponents Fueling the Potential for Technological Apocalypse
5. Anthroposophy: In Defense of the Truly Human
6. The Mission and Ways of Evil
7. The Two Milestones of the Global Anthroposophical Movement
Part Three: Self and Collective Mastery to Serve the World
8. Self-Mastery—Preparing Our Self for Spiritual Battle
9. Accessing the Support of the Keepers of Humanity
10. Collective Human Intelligence (CHI)
Part Four: Activating the Daughter Movements
11. Conditions for Decisive Action
12. The Strategic Role of the Biodynamic Agriculture Movement
13. The Truth Force of the Youth Movement
14. The Original Daughter Movements
15. The Second-Generation Daughter Movements
Part Five: Forming Alliances with Other Spiritual Movements
16. The Second and More Spiritual-Scientific Revolution
17. Answering the Four Grand Temptations of Artificial Intelligence
18. The Sleeping Giant: Global Civil Society 2.0
Part Six: Learning from Failure: The Last Stand
19. The Wisdom of Failure
20. The Last Stand
21. The Michaelic Will and the Future of Humanity
‘Nicanor Perlas paints the dramatic dilemma of mankind today as it stands, torn in the tension field of the advancement of outer scientific intelligence and an inner, albeit mostly unconscious, knowing of the spirit within and around us. He describes the fragile and delicate solution as the living potential within each individual, as expressed in Rudolf Steiner’s words: “knowledge is man’s active participation in what the beings and processes of the spiritual and physical world convey to him.”’ —Joan Sleigh, Executive Council, Goetheanum