"Rethinking of Marxist perspectives on big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and capitalist economic development"
by Walton, Nigel; Nayak, Bhabani Shankar (2021)
AI and big data are not ideologically neutral scientific knowledge that drives economic development and social change. AI is a tool of capitalism which transforms our societies within an environment of technological singularity that helps in the expansion of the capitalist model of economic development. Such a development process ensures the precarity of labour. This article highlights the limits of traditional Marxist conceptualisation of labour, value, property and production relations. It argues for the rethinking of Marxist perspectives on AI led economic development by focusing on conceptual new interpretation of bourgeois and proletariat in the information driven data-based society. This is a conceptual paper which critically outlines different debates and challenges around AI driven big data and its implications. It particularly focuses on the theoretical challenges faced by labour theory of value and its social and economic implications from a critical perspective. It also offers alternatives by analysing future trends and developments for the sustainable use of AI. It argues for developing policies on the use of AI and big data to protect labour, advance human development and enhance social welfare by reducing risks.
These AI-driven processes have made work less repetitive and arduous with the use of robotics, thereby allowing the worker to upskill and carry out more rewarding and better paid tasks. Rather than displacing workers, this has resulted in the evolution of work by helping people to do their work to a higher standard and to perform more meaningful tasks. (p.7)
KeywordsBig Data, Artificial Intelligence, Marxism, Social Change, Economic Development
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