But Yahoo Messenger’s popularity is long gone. And since then, technology has changed from being a mere platform to being artificial intelligence in itself. Apps can predict how we respond, YouTube recommends videos it knows will keep us hooked, Facebook shows us ads that trigger our buying habits. In other words, technology now knows us better than we know ourselves. We think only our laptops and computers can be hacked, but in reality, it is we who are being hacked right under our noses. Because technology knows us well, even as we think I’m just going to watch this 1 video then I’m done, we end up staying awake all night, pressing the play button again and again and again. We are hacked!
So then, in this world where it seems technology is in some way manipulating our behavior, do we stand in chance in acting from our own true free will? Can we truly make informed choices? We still can. We can become more conscious, more aware, more deliberate, more awake. And one of the tools that we can tap, a technology more ancient than artificial intelligence, is meditation— to study the self, to know the self, to meet the self. Then our own intelligence stands the chance to supersede any artificial intelligence.