Yuval Noah Harari is a history professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. But he’s no ordinary history professor. His current research focuses on big picture questions including:
- What’s the relationship between history and biology?
- Does history have a direction?
- Have people become happier over time?
Harari does not tackle easy questions and always has something thoughtful to say. Only time will tell if he’s right.
Bill Gates included Harari’s book entitled, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century on a list of five books he loved in 2018. Gates found it offered “a helpful framework for processing the news and thinking about the challenges we face.”
Harari helped me put the day-to-day news in context, especially on the topic of the degree to which automation will affect the job market. Harari believes that artificial intelligence will have an enormous impact on the job market. For example, he argues that artificial intelligence will replace doctors in diagnosing common ailments.
The book helped me to think about the forces at work and the impact they will have on the world. To me, that’s more important than the accuracy of specific predictions.
If you’d like to see what Professor Harari is like, he gave a one hour talk at Google in 2018: