We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The future of work is now

Click here to access article by Peter Radford from Real-World Economics Review Blog

The author focuses our attention on the present and future consequences of artificial intelligence (AI) on the vast majority of humans. Nowhere does the author address that the capitalist system distorts the way this new technology will be used not for the benefit of humans, but for the enrichment of a tiny minority of "owners" who are addicted to not only profits, but power most of all.
There is no doubt that AI will have an enormous impact. There are countless breathless accounts of the number of jobs that will simply disappear as AI sweeps through the economy. These accounts usually appear from those involved in the invention and application of AI. They all end up expressing some form of fatalistic vision where the workplace will inevitably collapse under the impress of technology, wages will similarly collapse for those poor souls unable to keep up with the onslaught of robotics, with the resultant picture being grim for just about everyone except for the few who remain in the so-called “knowledge economy”.
Later he describes the inevitability of consequences under the existing social system, but again he doesn't attribute them to capitalism which we can change to serve all of humanity instead of a tiny minority of capitalists:
By simplifying the purpose of a corporation and focusing it exclusively on shareholder value the way was opened for increasing portions of the national wealth to be allocated to profit, away from wages, and thus satisfy the rising demands of investors.

The consequence was a constant re-writing of the workplace arrangement, with every step designed to reduce worker compensation so as to free up cash for profit.
For more material to learn about how this new technology of AI will be used under the existing system, I recommend another article entitled "As AI advances rapidly, More Human Than Human says, “Stop, let’s think about this” from Ars Technica.

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