Transforming capitalism in the Age of AI

European and progressive approach to digital transformation.

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EU policymakers have proposed an alphabet soup of digital laws – DMA, DSA, DGA, AIA, PWD, you name it – to get more transparency and accountability from tech firms and the digital infrastructures they control.

But this agenda – vital though it is – is also defensive. The trajectory of AI is mainly driven by private corporations and driven by controversial ideologies like "General Artificial Intelligence" or "Singularity", and a neoliberal preference for markets, the individual, and an almost religious belief in technological solutions.

This is especially the case for the world of work, where, to parahrase Professor Brishen Rogers, we see that digital technologies are used as a tool of class power, with a focus on automation, surveillance and algorithmic management, and which results in more and more workers being subject to increasing market discipline, as rents and control over data are concentrated in the hands of a fewer and fewer firms.

To address this, Europe should develop a broad political approach that not only puts in place technical guardrails for AI systems, but that also anticipates the long-term implications for employment, labor rights, creativity, education, and societal norms.

As the next wave of tech – machine learning models from Chat-GPT to Stable Diffusion – is hitting our shores, the urgent question is  whether the EU will again accept this as a fait accompli whilst trying belatedly to manage some risks? Or will it develop its vision and programme for digital tech that aligns with European values? 

For more information, please contact  Justin Nogarede

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