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  • The Social Reconfiguration of Artificial Intelligence: Utility and Feasibility

    James Steinhoff

    Chapter from the book: Verdegem, P. 2021. AI for Everyone?: Critical Perspectives.


    Arguing that any discussion of 'AI for everyone' needs to be situated within the context of the highly oligopolistic AI Industry the author argues that one should distinguish between the desirability of AI for everyone and the feasibility of AI for everyone. While several Marxian thinkers have argued for the social desirability of AI, the feasibility of an AI for everyone has not been explored. This paper explores this topic by drawing on the notion of ’reconfiguration’ elaborated first by Jasper Bernes in a critical assessment of logistics infrastructure. First, the reconfiguration thesis is reviewed. Second, it is assessed whether AI might be ‘seized’ by non-capital, and how, if wrested from capital, it might be operated. This reveals how contemporary AI differs from the industrial means of production studied by Marx. The chapter concludes that today, a reconfiguration of AI towards social ends seems difficult at best.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Steinhoff, J. 2021. The Social Reconfiguration of Artificial Intelligence: Utility and Feasibility. In: Verdegem, P (ed.), AI for Everyone?. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book55.h

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    Published on Sept. 20, 2021