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The prophetic vision of J. Krishnamurti on AI’s impact on humanity: Released as a free-to-download digital booklet


The Krishnamurti Foundation India has released a free-to-download digital booklet—The Future of Humanity in the Age of AI—on J. Krishnamurti’s vision of how AI will impact humanity. What is remarkable is that Krishnamurti talked about this more than 60 years ago. He spoke about the challenges that humanity will face from the ‘intelligent machines’ that were being developed then. With stunning accuracy, he foresaw the effect of AI that today is a reality. Krishnamurti asks, “So, what is the future of man when the computer can outdo everything that man has done or will do?’

With AI taking global centre-stage, this digital compilation is a timely wake-up call for any human being interested in responding adequately and with clarity to its challenge. In 1981 at a talk in Madras (Chennai) Krishnamurti warned, ‘Society is going to be turned upside down. It is coming, whether you like it or not; it is at your door.’ This was in reference to the rise of ‘computers.’ Further in the talk, he poses a profound question: ‘In about ten years, more or less, the mechanical intelligence will outdo man. What then is man?’

Krishnamurti talked about the computer’s ability to learn and correct themselves. He was talking about AI as we know it today. His comparison of it to the human mind makes our problem clear: ‘We are always moving from the known to the known and acting from the known, like the latest computers, which have the capacity to correct themselves, which can experience and learn, and so can go much faster than man in thought in solving problems.’ ‘What are you?’, he then asks.

The 34-page booklet provides a fresh take on the effects of AI on the human mind and its future development. Speaking to an audience in New Delhi, Krishnamurti presents a clear alternative and way out of the AI challenge. An alternative that is at the heart of the spiritual path. He says, ‘We are saying the future of mankind is to seek entertainment, enter more and more into the world of sports, or into religious entertainment—that is one line. The other is to go inwards because the brain is infinite. It has got immense capacity, not the capacity of specialization, not the capacity of knowledge. It has another kind of capacity—infinite.’

This digital booklet, curated by Krishnamurti Foundation India, navigates the uncharted waters of AI’s impact on the human condition. Krishnamurti questions the very intelligence that has built AI when he asks: ‘There may be slight differences, but fundamentally the brain is programmed and the computer is programmed. And the question is: if there is no difference between the two, basically, then what is intelligence?’

As humanity stands on the precipice of an AI-dominated future, this booklet provides profound insights for parents, educators, and specialists in any field, in fact for any human being serious enough to ponder over the on-coming crisis and to find a way around it.

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