In sci-fi and popular culture, there is much talk about when “AI becomes self-aware/conscious” and then bad things will happen to humanity. Aside from being somewhat an overplayed theme, it raises several profound questions. What is consciousness? What is self-awareness? What is sentience? There are no easy answers that could withstand scrutiny.

For me, this is one of the most fascinating aspects of AI – where it bridges the worlds of science, philosophy, and even theology. KurzGesagt has a fascinating video exploring the evolutionary origins of consciousness and how empathy relates to sense of self.

KurzGesagt provides educational videos that inform and sometimes alarm. This video explains their somewhat paradoxical philosophy of “Optimistic Nihilism.” Given their German name (KurzGesagt means “quickly said” in German), I’m not surprised.

Recently, I was asked to share my thoughts about automation’s impact on the job market. While I don’t agree 100% with the conclusion of this video by Kurzgesagt, the gist is on point.

Historically, automation has created more jobs over the long term. This means that people (and societies) have less time to adapt to the new realities. This transition is going to be intra-generational rather than inter-generational. This is going to have numerous unforeseen consequences.