German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote in his 1883 classic: “Man is a thing to be overcome” Thus spoke Zarathustra. “Man is a cord between the beast and the Superman—a cord that hangs over the abyss. The greatness of man is that he is a bridge, not an end.”

When he wrote this article, notoriously troublesome intellectual He was contemplating ambivalence about German culture (including a quarrel with his friend, the composer Richard Wagner), a series of illnesses, and an opiate habit that likely constituted an addiction. But he also faced what historians call “the second industrial revolutionthe revolution mass production.

Much of Nietzsche’s writings, unknown during his lifetime, foreshadowed the 20th century filled with what he called “nihilism,” notably his famous proclamation “God is dead.” In its place is Superman, or “Superman,” the decider of his own life, who eschews traditional Christian conventions to give birth to his own value system that allows him to overcome all human challenges. Now artificial intelligence has come, modern technologist Claims are being made that the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” will give birth to a new “Superman”, which begs the question, are humans still the ropes on the proverbial abyss?

It’s worth looking back at how we got here.

faster than a speeding bullet

In times of technological upheaval, Nietzsche’s prediction of the birth of Superman always seems to resurface. There are two famous examples – you already know that.

First, about half a century after Nietzsche conceived his version, Action Comics Launches Issue 1 In 1939, featuring a character named Superman, who would go on to become the first comic book superhero, at a time when the world was speeding into the atomic age, most recently in the blockbuster Oppenheimer described. As society digests the breakthroughs of the Second Industrial Revolution, creating modern cities filled with elevators, skyscrapers, and cars, Superman represents a figure who can easily conquer modern technology. It’s all in one slogan: “Faster than a speeding bullet! Stronger than a locomotive! Jump tall buildings in one hop!” (Even if the phrase itself is industrial in nature, radio show originating in 1940, a brand new technology. )

At Comic-Con, everyone is Superman or Supergirl.

Nietzsche’s Superman is an embodiment of religious exclusion, an existence that transcends the morality of the Christian church, while the Superman character pays homage to the progress of mankind for generations, with abilities such as bulletproof skin and laser eyes.

Also, Nietzsche’s Superman is an aspirational concept whose name literally means higher planes, while DC’s Superman comes from the alien world of Krypton, a planet more complex than Earth. Not only is Superman physically superior to normal humans, but he retains certain aspects of the original Superman as a pillar of moral integrity. Even though his alter ego is Clark Kent, he’s morally unassailable as an idealistic reporter (the most morally correct profession, of course).

superman and concept go hand in hand Transhumanism Embrace by capitalists and technologists – advanced technologies will allow humans to transformatively enhance themselves and the environment. It recalls Nietzsche’s vision of man as a “rope” and “something to be overcome” or, in a transhumanist view, as the basis of mechanization. The concept of transhumanism is “newcomerThe “utopian ideal of the perfect man,” a concept adopted by non-democratic movements decades after Nietzsche’s death, including communism arrive fascism to its subset, Nazism, each envisioning the creation of perfect citizens through science and technology. Even the most careless student of 20th century history knows this is a tragic and terrible mistake.

While these concepts may seem strange to 21st-century digital natives, they are actually still deeply embedded in mainstream politics and popular culture. The world’s richest man, Elon Musk, is himself a famous transhumanist who is actively working on projects to colonize space and insert computer chips into our brains.Science fiction has thrived by examining Superman and Superman transformations, often in a dystopian fashion such as blade runner in the 1980s and matrix recent.Even this summer’s explosion Barbie The film ventures into transhumanism, a plastic doll that ventures into the real world with stereotypical ideals of femininity and beauty, despite read that movie several times The conclusion is that being a superwoman is simply not possible in modern life.

exist "matrix," By plugging into machines, humans become more important.

What happened to Superman in the 21st century?

We see the concept of the superhuman, especially when it intersects with technology, as an oft-used political tool because of the inherent stratification established by the “ideal” person.While transhumanism is toyed by socialists and capitalists, sociologist thinks political transhumanism could be born Capitalism 2.0an era of excessive focus on technology-driven productivity leaps.

Now as we round the bend Fourth Industrial Revolution— Intelligent Automation, Interconnectivity, and the Artificial Intelligence Revolution — Philosophy buffs may wonder what will emerge from the Superman of our time. Admittedly, it’s still early days, but history shows that people will be looking for an ideal icon who can transcend the power framework of our time.

Someone has already theorized that our superhuman will be an artificial intelligence: Masayoshi Son, one of the world’s wealthiest men, has dubbed the invention “the birth of Superman”. Masayoshi Son, a major venture capitalist for decades and CEO of Japan’s SoftBank, announced to investors this year that the emergence of ChatGPT had plunged him into an existential crisis about artificial intelligence and the meaning of life, and decided to dedicate his career to to him. Companies and Careers “Designing the Future of Humanity”. Sounds a bit irrelevant to Nietzsche’s crisis of nihilism.

That’s certainly not to say Masayoshi Son is the next Nietzsche, but his resemblance to Superman is unmistakable. Masayoshi Son told SoftBank shareholders that he uses artificial intelligence to come up with and refine ideas every day, and has used the tool to develop more than 600 new inventions in less than a year. Through a transhumanist lens, he is using emerging technologies to greatly enhance his intellect and thinking abilities. As the world undergoes another technological upheaval and people are looking for an ideal entity that can transcend the power framework of our time, it is important to ask what that framework is. It can be said that this is information.

Just as Nietzsche’s Superman controls his own infallible moral system, or comic book Superman controls his invulnerable body, perhaps an analogy can be drawn to an AI controlling its vast, 10,000-chip cache of knowledge. The difference is that Superman and Superman exist as fictional characters without any real way for people to interact with them. They are ambitious, and AI is a real tool to drive rapid change in the world.

It’s too early to say how AI will change the workforce, but we should perhaps take the notion of a superhuman with a grain of salt. Maybe humans are a rope on the abyss, but the surest way to fall into the abyss is to pursue superpowers through technology.


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