In the Over the Edge series characters use an implant in their brains to control vehicles, such as cars and air or space craft. They can access the internet and the information collected by the eyes or ears can be stored to a computer.
This idea came from watching a news report about a man learning to manipulate a robotic arm by twitching muscle in his upper arm stub. He used his mind to cause a mechanical device designed to respond to electrical impulses, that is to electronic impulse commands issued to his muscles. Another report showed video made from the visual information collected by a cat's eyes--a recording of the light hitting the cat's retina, the impulses the cat's brain generated in response to the light its eyes beheld. Neither of these technologies delved, or could possibly delve, into what the man or the cat were feeling and how they thought about their feelings.
Yuval Noah Harari thinks human beings will be able to live in or through robots. He thinks human consciousness, that is the thought life, which includes a person's feelings, can be connected to computers and to other humans through the internet. And humans connected in this way will know each other's thoughts. Aside from the horror that would be, since most human thought is utter drivel, completely selfish or flat hateful and ugly, what benefit could we possibly derive from knowing what our neighbor actually thinks moment by moment? Could there be anything more hellish than to know what one's neighbor is thinking the way each of us know our own thoughts? Imagine of the cacophony! One would find himself incapable of thinking at all because of the sheer volume of noise.
This idea that humans can live by or through computers is a childish, simplistic way to think about human consciousness. The human being is not a meat computer. Harari has reduced the complex human to the equivalent of an ordinary laptop.
The human being is a spirit living in a fantastically amazing body. By the time a human being is old enough to learn to drive a car, that person has already become skilled at looking at his environment and understanding quite well what he's looking at in less than half a second. While driving a car or walking along a busy street or browsing in a store, instant decisions are made with astonishingly frequently accuracy, often while carrying on conversations and tending to small children at the same time. The human mind far surpasses any computer yet created.
To conflate the human mind with a computer is a mistake. A computer is only capable of what it is programmed to do. It cannot achieve consciousness. It cannot even reprogram itself. While a human can change the way he thinks and even rebuild his brain with positive thoughts and fresh reading and learning. Consciousness is not a programmable ability, it is a spiritual ability given by God. No other entity in the universe can bestow consciousness on anybody or anything, but God.
Harari mocks God saying all He's managed to do was to create organic things, while Harari believes humans will surpass God by creating inorganic consciousness. How human beings can achieve that he can't really explain, but the sheer vanity of his statement is laughable and infantile. It shows a supreme lack of comprehension of the miracle of consciousness, reducing it to the level of a computer program. Further, he makes the assumption that thoughts and feelings are nothing more than electrical impulses that can be measured and recorded. A spiritual thing cannot be measured, it is by definition intangible and science has no way to measure the truly intangible.
In the Over the Edge novel series one of the characters explains that only those thoughts which are transformed into commands, such as what might be issued to a muscle, can be recorded by a computer. Thoughts that are not commands are spiritual, they do not register on any kind of material recording device. The feelings of love or hate or even hunger cannot be recorded by, recognized by or understood by anything other than another spiritual being.
In the novels soldiers who have the implants in their brains can record what the eyes see and the ears hear, like police body cams. They cannot touch how the soldier felt about what he saw or heard or how he decided to act in any situation.
If Harari is correct and a human being might live through or in a computer, it is hard to conceive a more miserable hell this side of the after-life. He describes connected persons knowing what everyone else is thinking and being reliant on the collective mind for existence. If one exists inside a computer, where would be the sensation of holding a baby and smelling that unique, wonderful baby perfume or hugging a lover and feeling his hair flow through one's fingers? Where would be the sense of taste? How enjoyable would life be if one could not enjoy chocolate or beer? If those physical senses existed at all, they would be filtered through a mechanical format rendering them to pathetic simulations of reality. Achieving this transfer of human consciousness, if it were possible, would not be an advance in human existence, but a reduction to less than an animal. But, not to worry, the human spirit, if it is severed from the body into which it was born, will not remain on the earth, but go to its reward either Heaven or hell. It cannot be transferred to a piece of silicon. If instead, human bodies would exist in a sort of pod, as in the The Matrix movies, what kind of a life is that?
In the Over the Edge series the mind to computer linkage is only useful for the issuing of commands in the form of electronic impulses or in recording the light and sound the eyes and ears collect. And that is all that can ever be accomplished. The spiritual aspects of human life cannot interact, nor interface through computers. Harari is loaded up with vanity and pride. A blind, proud fool leading blind, proud fools whose ears he tickles and whose wallets empty before him buying his books and hiring him to speak.
We live in interesting times.
Yuval Noah Harari denounces the existence of the human soul
Yuval Noah Harari speaks declaring humans can become gods
How can beings who have no soul which includes free will--beings who are "hackable" become gods?