You take fantasies, which for thousands of years belonged to the religious realm - overcoming death or our merging with the universe - and you suddenly start talking about them in a more technical perspective as something that can be achieved, not after you die with the help of supernatural beings, but in this very life with the help of technology.
As algorithms push humans out of the job market, wealth and power might become concentrated in the hands of the tiny elite that owns the all-powerful algorithms, creating unprecedented social and political inequality. Alternatively, the algorithms might themselves become the owners.
Every day, I absorb countless data bits through emails, phone calls, and articles; process the data; and transmit back new bits through more emails, phone calls, and articles. I don't really know where I fit into the great scheme of things and how my bits of data connect with the bits produced by billions of other humans and computers.
The widespread assumption is that somehow, the brain produces the mind; somehow millions of neurons fire signals at one another create or produce consciousness... but we have no idea how or why this happens. I'm afraid that in many cases, people in the tech world fail to understand that.
About 15,000 years ago, humans colonised America, wiping out in the process about 75% of its large mammals. Numerous other species disappeared from Africa, from Eurasia, and from the myriad islands around their coasts. The archaeological record of country after country tells the same sad story.
You go to a Japanese restaurant and have a wonderful dish, and the thing to do is take a picture with your phone, put it on Facebook, and see how many likes you get. If you don't share your experiences, they don't become part of the data processing system, and they have no meaning.
People have long feared that mechanization might cause mass unemployment. This never happened because, as old professions became obsolete, new professions evolved, and there was always something humans could do better than machines. Yet this is not a law of nature, and nothing guarantees it will continue to be like that in the future.