Science and Technology

The AI Revolution’s Dystopian Future: It’s Not a Bug, It’s a Feature

The breakneck speed of technological advancement and the fever for automation have resulted in these self-contained decision-makers worming their way into all aspects of life; algorithms aren’t just the property of social media news feeds anymore, they’re also used to predict consumer habits, make investments, and even determine courtroom decisions. China, for example, is in the process of rolling out a system of ‘social credit-scoring’ in which data collection and analysis techniques will be used to give each citizen a score. … Though this system is still highly experimental, it is a testament to the widespread datafication of the modern world and the increased primacy of algorithms and machine-learning in shaping our day-to-day experiences.—Stuart Montgomery, “What’s in an Algorithm? The Problem of the Black Box

The first thing that the reader must understand is that despite the global and often diffuse nature of the expanding World Online network, the ideology/religion of Dataism and its Internet-of-(All)-Things demand central planning akin to Marxist doctrine. Granted the other features of this network are capitalist in nature, but it is unsurprising that the Chinese model is viewed as most desirable for global control, as it combines the best (from the perspective of the “elites”) aspects of each system under the cloak of humanism and various other “-isms” such as environmentalism. That the system is not concerned with the externalities it purports to consider should be clear, but trapped in dialectical reasoning as we have been conditioned to be, breaking out of these constraints is often a tall order. Consider the American conservative, a creature who seldom understands that he is, at heart, still a liberal within his post-Jacobin confines. Alas, our Pavlovian overlords provide the stimuli and condition the response.

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