Inhuman Power: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Capitalism
November 22 / 6:45 pm - 9:00 pm ESTfree
Join us for the Toronto book launch for Nick Dyer-Witheford, Atle Mikkola Kjøsen, James Steinhoff’s Inhuman Power: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Capitalism (Pluto, 2019). An exploration of the relationship between Marxist theory and Artificial Intelligence!
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has seen major advances in recent years. While machines were always central to the Marxist analysis of capitalism, AI is a new kind of machine that Marx could not have anticipated. Contemporary machine-learning AI allows machines to increasingly approach human capacities for perception and reasoning in narrow domains.
This book explores the relationship between Marxist theory and AI through the lenses of different theoretical concepts, including surplus-value, labour, the general conditions of production, class composition and surplus population. It argues against left accelerationism and post-Operaismo thinkers, asserting that a deeper analysis of AI produces a more complex and disturbing picture of capitalism’s future than has previously been identified.
Inhuman Power argues that on its current trajectory, AI represents an ultimate weapon for capital. It will render humanity obsolete or turn it into a species of transhumans working for a wage until the heat death of the universe; a fate that is only avoidable by communist revolution.
Nick Dyer-Witheford, an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario, is the author of Cyber-Marx: Cycles and Circuits of Struggle in High Technology Capitalism (Chicago: University of Illinois, 1999) and Cyber-Proletariat: Global Labour in the Digital Vortex (London: Pluto Press, 2015), and has also written on the video and computer game industry, the uses of the Internet by social movements and theories of technology. Two recent books are co-authorships: with Svitlana Matviyenko, Cyberwar and Revolution: Digital Subterfuge in Global Capitalism (University of Minnesota Press 2019), and, with Atle Mikkola Kjøsen and James Steinhoff, Inhuman Power: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Capitalism (Pluto Press 2019).
Atle Mikkola Kjosen is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario. He researches and has written on Marxist value theory, media theory, logistics, acceleration, and artificial intelligence. With Nick Dyer-Witheford and James Steinhoff, he is co-author of Inhuman Power: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Capitalism (Pluto Press, 2019).
James Steinhoff is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario. He is currently finishing a dissertation critiquing the post-operaismo theory of immaterial labour. He is co-author of Inhuman Power: Artificial Intelligence and The Future of Capitalism (Pluto Press, 2019) and has published papers on transhumanism, Marxism and artificial intelligence.