Book Quotes Blog

In the late twentieth century democracies

In the late twentieth century democracies usually outperformed dictatorships because democracies were better at data-processing. Democracy diffuses the power to process information and make decisions among many people and institutions, whereas dictatorship concentrates information and power in one place. Given twentieth-century technology, it was inefficient to concentrate too much information and power in one place. [...] However, soon AI might swing the pendulum in the opposite direction. AI makes it possible to process enormous amounts of information centrally. Indeed, AI might make centralised systems far more efficient than diffused systems, because machine learning works better the more information it can analyse.

- from 21 Lessons for the 21st Century book by Yuval Noah Harari