Machine politics

What is the promise of artificial intelligence? For some prognosticators, notably Google’s Sundar Pichai, AI is “more profound than electricity or fire,” a world-transforming development that will alter every facet of human existence for the good. Others, the late Stephen Hawking among them, have argued that AI’s superior cognition “could spell the end of the human race.” What if both these visions are fatally flawed? A technical and scientific phenomenon, AI is nevertheless the product of human culture and will be carved, at least in part, into shapes that suit us. Thus, it is not only significant but possibly determinative that AI has made a powerful enemy of late. Perhaps uncoincidentally, this foe has its own designs on how humanity will work, build, and make
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