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Humanity's Last Stand

The Challenge of Artificial Intelligence: A Spiritual-Scientific Response


Nicanor Perlas

244 pp.  
6 1/8" x 9 1/4"

Temple Lodge Press

Paperback

$28.00
Available:  October 2018

978-1-912230-17-4


  • “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

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.

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