Peres shares futuristic ideas with young innovators

“Let’s recognize that this is a new world to which we have to adapt ourselves,” president tells 100 young world leaders.

October 26, 2012 03:31
2 minute read.
Shimon Peres

Shimon Peres 370. (photo credit: Wikicommons)


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President Shimon Peres hosted about 100 young world leaders on Thursday at a Digital Life Design Global conference.

Held internationally and dealing with digital media, science and culture, the conference was brought to Israel at the initiative of hitech guru Yossi Vardi, and convened here for the second time.

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“Let’s recognize that this is a new world to which we have to adapt ourselves,” Peres told a rapt audience.

The president spoke for over half an hour about the end of the agricultural era and the advent of the scientific era and the way in which global companies with capital can, through goodwill, do the work of governments without funds; about how land used to be a reason for war because of the need to grow food.

Peres also expressed his support of social media and text messaging, since it forces people to come straight to the point instead of waffling, he said.

Peres worked his way through a series of subjects until he got to a favorite of his, brain research, neurons and the use of artificial intelligence. It is a matter of endless fascination to him that while the human brain, which he called “a brilliant instrument,” can create an artificial brain, human beings are thus far incapable of penetrating all the secrets of their own brain.

But, he said, he was confident that soon these mysteries would no longer be part of science fiction, just as robots were once.

Peres said he believed that in the long-term, the elimination of many jobs and professions as an outcome of technological and scientific progress would not result in vast unemployment, but would open the door to new industries which are not yet on the radar.

“The coming decade will be the most revolutionary in human history,” Peres predicted.

He foresaw discoveries resulting from brain research changing the entire world, especially in connection to prevention, cure and alleviation of disease, including genetic ailments.

The president was also convinced that brain research will lead to new fields of education, and that education in the final analysis would lead to greater world stability.

Looking back at what has changed since the dawn of the Arab Spring, Peres said: “I wouldn’t recommend anyone become a dictator in the Middle East. It’s over.”

He also talked about the new horizons that challenge the imaginations of today’s younger generation, reminding his audience that before most of them were born, the world watched with bated breath as a man landed on the moon. But there was nothing there, said Peres. It was like a desert and they came back to once again look at the stars though a telescope.

But in the scientific era he said, the telescope has been replaced by the microscope.

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