Life 3.0

Updated: January 2, 2022

Will we be able to develop AI that will help us thrive like never before, or will AI lead us to self-destruction?

Max Tegmark is an MIT professor who has helped mainstream research on how to keep AI beneficial. In this book, the author explores the next phase of our existence by classifying life's development into three stages, distinguished by life's ability to design itself:

  • Life 1.0 (biological stage): evolves its hardware and software;
  • Life 2.0 (cultural stage): evolves its hardware, designs much of its software;
  • Life 3.0 (technological stage): designs its hardware and software.

Favorite quotes from the book:

In fact, since our feelings implement merely rules of thumb that aren't appropriate in all situations, human behavior strictly speaking doesn't have a single well-defined goal at all.

It's not our Universe giving meaning to conscious beings, but conscious beings giving meaning to our Universe.

Traditionally, we humans have often founded our self-worth on the idea of human exceptionalism: the conviction that we're the smartest entities on the planet and therefore unique and superior. The rise of AI will force us to abandon this and become more humble.