I find all the dystopian "Man creates sentient, omnipotent AI to save the world, but the AI decides that authoritarianism is the only way to survive" tropes absolute bullshit.
Imagine a communist country run by an actual artificial intelligence. No biases, no resentments — the AI only has one goal:
The advancement of the country and its people as a whole.
It would remove the human element in decision making, making all decisions weighed and measured with the actual good of all people in mind, and not just the interest of a particular person.
But what about money and the Economy?
Sadly, right-wing propaganda won here. People don't understand that neither money nor the concept of wealth exists in communism.
Communism is a utopian system of living that relies on a resource-based economy, where everyone lives for other people and only off of what they need.
If communism is all that great, why haven’t we gone red?
Why haven’t we embraced the teachings of daddy Marx and built the utopia of our dream?
Two words: Bad Jobs.
Bad Jobs are those roles which are necessary for a society to function but are generally perceived as undesirable or low-status. These might include roles such as sanitation workers, factory workers, or low-wage service industry jobs. They often involve hard physical labor, low wages, poor working conditions, or social stigma. They're "bad" because they're often jobs that - if given choice - most people don't want to do.
In the early days of human civilisation, we discovered fire, agriculture, and domestication (yay!).
We left our nomadic lifestyle, and settled as agrarian communities. The ability to grow our own food led to more security and less people dying. Population boomed, and so did the need for more food.
Now, smaller farms are easier to manage solo. But as our production needs increased, humans had to increase their scale of farming. This lead to division of labour. This division of labour, while necessary for productivity and development, also led to the creation of social hierarchies and, subsequently, class divisions.
The earliest farmers would have needed people to perform various tasks such as planting, harvesting, and irrigation. As these operations expanded, it became necessary to have individuals who could oversee the work and manage the workers. As time went on, layers of management were added, creating a hierarchical structure.
Think: farmer → farmer manager →. farmer manager manager → head of farmer managers → king (?)
Over time, certain jobs were viewed as more desirable, prestigious, or powerful, while others were seen as menial or lower status. Those who occupied positions of authority or who owned the means of production (in this case, the land and tools necessary for farming) often had more wealth, resources, and power. This naturally led to a class division between those who had wealth and power (the ruling class) and those who did not (the working class).
This structure became more entrenched and complex as society developed. The invention of currency added another layer of complexity, as wealth could be accumulated and passed down through generations, leading to an even greater class divide.
In the modern era, we see this reflected in the continued existence of "bad jobs" and a wealth disparity that has been growing in many parts of the world.
In a traditional capitalist society, people take these jobs because they need money to survive. In communism, however, the motivation is different. It's based on the principle: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." This suggests that everyone should contribute to the best of their abilities and receive according to what they need.
But here’s the problem.
No one willingly wants to become a bathroom cleaner. Bad jobs like these are essential for a functioning society, but they're undesirable, low-status, and often physically demanding.
This is where the concept of Techno-Communism comes in. In a techno-communist society, "bad jobs" could be done by AI and automation.
As a result, people would be freed up to pursue work that aligns with their passions, interests, and capabilities. Moreover, resources would be distributed equitably among the population, ensuring everyone's basic needs are met.
Technological advancements would not lead to job loss and poverty, but rather free time and prosperity for all. People would be free to pursue fine arts, literature, and pure sciences - rather than slogging away at a thankless menial job.
In this utopian vision, the AI wouldn't rule over humans in an authoritarian way, but would rather serve as an unbiased, rational, and efficient administrator, implementing decisions for the collective good of society.
So, while the trope of a dystopian AI ruling over humanity may be frustrating, perhaps there's another way to think about AI's potential role in society.
Rather than seeing AI as a threat, perhaps it could serve as a tool for building a more equitable, just, and prosperous world.